Several GOP Senators Plan To Skip The Republican National Convention

Daniel Fowler
July 9, 2020

At least five GOP senators have said they will not attend next month's Republican National Convention in Jacksonville either due to coronavirus concerns or political reasons.

So far, Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Susan Collins of ME are expected to skip the gathering the week of August 24. The Utah senator Mitt Romney and the Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski, both of whom have split with the president on multiple occasions, are not going either, according to the Washington Post.

A spokesman for Romney, the only Republican who voted to convict Trump at his Senate impeachment trial a year ago, confirmed he would not go but did not respond to questions about the reason. Grassley told reporters in Iowa that this marked the first time he would miss his party's national convention since he was first elected to the Senate four decades ago.

"I'm not going to go".

A group of Jacksonville attorneys are trying to stop the Republican National Convention from coming to their city, The Hill reports. To attract donors, Charlotte convention planners offered a variety of benefits to large contributors, including exclusive campaign briefings, access to luxury skyboxes, and priority reservations at premium hotels.

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On Saturday, the state set a record for the most new coronavirus cases in a single day for any state during the pandemic, with a total of 11,458, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

A statement from Alexander's office didn't directly point to the coronavirus as a concern, but instead said that his spot should be used by someone else. Alexander will retire next year.

The plan to require thousands of attendees to get tested for the coronavirus before entering the convention site illustrates the efforts the party is undertaking to ensure President Donald Trump speaks to a packed house when he accepts the nomination.

As for Collins, an aide said she's skipping as part of a long-running tradition not to go during reelection years.

Collins, who faces a tough re-election fight in ME that could decide which party controls the U.S. Senate, never planned to attend because she does not go to national conventions in years she is running for re-election, a spokesman said. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said, "We'll see what the situation is then in terms of what COVID-19 is that week", and Sen.

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