New York Gets GOP Convention; Governor Says Selection Proves City Recovered from 9/11

Article excerpt

Byline: Ralph Z. Hallow, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

New York City will host the 2004 Republican National Convention, party officials announced yesterday.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a Republican who conducted months of negotiations with Republican National Committee Chairman Marc Racicot, said 2004 will be the first year the Republican Party - founded in 1854 - has held its presidential nominating convention in "the city that never sleeps."

"The Republican National Committee's decision shows that if you want to promote your ideas and vision for the country, there's no place better in the world to do it," Mr. Bloomberg said. "I can't thank President Bush and the [RNC] enough for their faith in New York."

Gov. George E. Pataki, a Republican, said the selection of New York "sends a message to America and the world that New York is back."

Last year, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe had offered to hold his party's 2004 convention in New York if Mr. Bloomberg would promise not to host the Republican convention. Mr. Bloomberg declined.

Before the September 11 attacks, most Republicans agreed that the labor-union-dominated city - heavily populated with liberal Democrats - had little chance of hosting a Republican convention.

But since the attacks, the White House and top Republican officials had leaned toward New York because of the city's symbolic value. It was the site of Mr. Bush's Sept. 14, 2001, visit to ground zero, when he told cheering workers, "I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. The people who knocked down this building will hear all of us soon."

"Each of us has a special place in our heart for New York City, and watching President Bush accept the Republican nomination in a place of such deep symbolism will definitely be inspiring to all Americans," Florida Republican Committee Chairman Al Cardenas said in congratulating the people of New York for getting the nod over Tampa-St. …