City leaders prepare for state’s GOP convention this weekend

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Indiana’s GOP convention is only three days away and will be hosted in the Summit City. It’s the first time in the party’s history it will be held outside of Indianapolis.

More than 2,000 delegates, elected officials and candidates will be in the Summit City.

Steve Shine, Allen County Republican Chairperson, said he and businessmen Bruce Dye and Bill Bean talked with then state GOP chairman Eric Holcomb back in April 2013 to host the 2014 convention in Fort Wayne. Shine wanted it to come here because he said this area is a prime location for conservatives.

“This area is heavily republican in the county and the city,” he said. “But also regard to adjoining counties next to Allen County.”

The convention will be held from June 6-7. On June 6, delegates and their families will arrive and head down to Parkview Field for “Fort Fun Night”. This event will feature tastings from six city restaurants, music from four live bands and late-night fireworks.

On June 7, official business will take place at the Grand Wayne Center. After that, delegates and their families will be taken on a tour of the city. Places on the tour include Science Central, the Allen County Courthouse, Fort Wayne’s Children Zoo, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Jefferson Pointe, among other local destinations.

City leaders expect delegates and their families to bring in between $300,000 to $350,000 within the two day weekend. On top of the growth of the economy, Dan O’Connell, Visit Fort Wayne president and CEO, said this puts Fort Wayne in the spotlight for other events and conventions, especially after successfully hosting the democratic convention back in 2012.

“Hosting these two political conventions adds to our resume and enables us to attract other state and regional conventions,” said O’Connell.

Former Arkansas Governor and U.S. presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus will be the convention’s keynote speakers.

The convention will start Friday evening.

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