By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press
AÂ Republican National Committee panel recommended the Gulf Coast city during a closed-door meeting, rejectingÂ Salt Lake City andÂ Phoenix. The decision came amid calls from Hispanic groups and others to boycottÂ Arizona after it adopted a law to crack down on illegal immigrants.
“The host committee’s hard work and dedication resulted in a tremendous bid that we are confident will produce a successful event,” said RNC ChairmanÂ Michael Steele.
Presidential hopefuls typically decamp inÂ Florida during the final weeks of a campaign, and nominating conventions dominate localÂ news coverage and help drive the parties’ message to voters who might otherwise ignore the formalities.
Republicans met inÂ Minneapolis-St. Paul in 2008, hoping to swingÂ Minnesota to theÂ GOP although it went for Obama. Democrats similarly met inÂ Denver in the hopes of making the Mountain West friendly territory. The president wonÂ Colorado.
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