The Republican National Committee (RNC) officially announced Friday that Charlotte, North Carolina, will play host to the party's 2020 convention.
"I am thrilled to announce Charlotte as the official host city for the 2020 Republican National Convention," RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement released Friday. "We look forward to seeing the Queen City take center stage as the Republican Party re-nominates President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to continue fighting for the American people."
The decision comes after the Charlotte City Council narrowly voted to approve hosting the 2020 RNC, where President Trump is widely expected to be nominated for a second term.
The 6-5 vote by the Charlotte City Council was marked by fierce debate over Trump and some of his administration's more controversial policies, and whether or not the heavily Democratic city is endorsing those policies by hosting the convention.
According to the Charlotte Observer, more than 100 speakers gave their opinions throughout the debate over hosting the event.
Democrat Larken Egleston, who cast the deciding vote in favor of hosting the GOP, said that "hosting the RNC in Charlotte in no way implies our endorsement of this president."
Justin Harlow, a Democratic council member who voted no, said he'd "no sooner bring Donald Trump to Charlotte ... than I'd welcome a Klan rally to Charlotte,"
Vi Lyles, the Democratic mayor of Charlotte who championed the bid, tweeted Friday that she believes the city's decision to host the 2020 Republican convention "conveys a positive message supporting our city’s belief in acceptance and inclusion."
I believe this convention conveys a positive message supporting our city’s belief in acceptance and inclusion. This is our opportunity to, once again, put Charlotte in the international spotlight to demonstrate the democratic process and two-party system that we deeply value— Mayor of Charlotte (@CLTMayor) July 20, 2018
Republicans in the state hailed the decision as a sign of the welcoming nature of North Carolina, and trumpeted the economic benefits that the influx of guests to the state will have.
"Congrats to Charlotte on being selected to host the 2020 RNC, a follow-up to the resoundingly successful 2012 DNC," North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis wrote on Twitter friday, "This event will bring significant economic stimulus to the region and will be another great opportunity to showcase Charlotte on the world stage."
The 2020 convention will mark the official start of the general election, and will be a key moment in President Trump's re-election bid.
"Charlotte’s booming economy is a prime example of how President Trump’s agenda is improving lives, spurring growth, and creating opportunity for millions of Americans," said Brad Parscale, the campaign manager for Trump's 2020 re-election effort. "We look forward to continuing our America First momentum here in the Queen City and delivering four more years of historic victories and tremendous success."
Charlotte and Las Vegas were the only two cities mounting serious bids to host the pivotal event.
2020 will mark the second time in the last three presidential cycles that Charlotte has played host to a major political convention. In 2012, the city hosted the Democratic National Convention, where President Obama was nominated and ultimately won a second term.
North Carolina has cemented its status as a presidential battleground state in recent cycles. The state narrowly voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, the first time a Democratic candidate captured the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976. In 2016, Republicans held their convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 2012, Mitt Romney narrowly defeated President Obama in North Carolina, and in 2016 Trump won the state with just under 50 percent of the vote.
Democrats have not yet selected a location for their 2020 convention, but are reportedly considering three cities as finalists: Houston, Miami Beach and Milwaukee.