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Politics / Issues

As RNC Picks a Candidate, Tampa Bay Hosts Hope to Market Region

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Bobbie O'Brien
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WUSF 89.7 News

In just over five months, organizers expect about 15,000 members of the news media to descend on the Tampa Bay region to cover the Republican National Convention. Their goal will be to cover who wins the GOP nomination.

However, Tampa Bay officials have a different aim during the four day convention scheduled August 27-30 in downtown Tampa.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said the “eyes of the world will be watching” so, he plans to use that opportunity to show off Tampa and hopefully do some business.

“What a great story for us to tell, to talk about why this is such a great place to invest, to grow your companies, to move your families, to buy real estate,” Buckhorn said. “This is our opportunity unlike any other time we will ever have to tell Tampa’s story. We will never get this chance again.”

Buckhorn is one of eight Honorary Co-chairs of the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee which also includes: former Gov. Jeb Bush, former Gov. Bob Martinez, former U.S. Sen. Connie Mack, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker.

The honorary co-chairs will “represent and promote Florida and the Tampa Bay region” and make sure the 2012 Host Committee hits all its goals which includes raising $55 million to help pay for the convention.