As officials make pitch, Pittsburgh in the running to host 2024 RNC | Monday Morning Coffee

New Mayor Ed Gainey and Allegheny Co. Executive Rich Fitzgerald are among those trying to lure the GOP to the Steel City 

January 10, 2022 7:14 am

Biking on the North Shore (Pittsburgh City Paper photo).

Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Politico reports that Pittsburgh is among the finalists to host the Republican National Convention.

Also in the running: Milwaukee, Nashville, and Salt Lake City. The latter two, it must be candidly said, are a shade or two redder than the Steel City. Milwaukee, like Pittsburgh, is located in a key 2024 battleground state.

According to PoliticoRepublican National Committee officials are set to visit each city in the coming months before making a decision in the spring. The discussion over a convention site is expected to top the agenda at the RNC’s winter meeting.

Closer to home, new Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald are among the Pittsburgh notables backing the bid.

Gainey, a former Democratic member of the state House until his swearing-in a week ago, wrote a letter over the weekend to RNC Chairperson Ronna McDaniel making the case for his hometown, the Post-Gazette reports.

“Pittsburgh is a world class city primed for economic recovery and downtown revitalization as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Gainey wrote, according to the Post-Gazette.

Fitzgerald, a Democrat, jumped in with a separate letter last November making his own sales pitch, the newspaper reported.

In that letter, Fitzgerald boasted of Pittsburgh’s allure as “a major meeting destination,” with “fantastic and affordable accommodations,” the Post-Gazette reports. Fitzgerald also bragged about the city’s food scene, the newspaper added.

“Perhaps just as importantly for the site committee, Pittsburgh is conveniently located and easily reached by air, car and train,” Fitzgerald wrote.

Allegheny County Republican Chairman Sam DeMarco also weighed in, writing in December that picking Pittsburgh would “significantly add to the experience of your attendees,” according to the Post-Gazette.

According to Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh has never played host to a presidential nominating convention, a week marked by much pomp and circumstance, but, in recent years, zero political drama.

However, the city was the site of the GOP’s first organizing convention in 1856, the Post-Gazette noted.

Philadelphia hosted the RNC in 2000, where George W. Bush took the party’s nomination. The Democrats gathered in Philadelphia in 2016 leading up to Hillary Clinton’s winning of the nomination.

In a statement to Politico, an RNC spokesperson said the national party is “grateful for and appreciative of the overwhelming interest from cities across the country to host the 2024 Republican National Convention. We’ll continue the process, review bids, and communicate with potential hosts to hear more about what their cities have to offer.”

The 2022 Pa. Farm Show Butter Sculpture (Commonwealth Media Services photo).

Our Stuff.
It’s Farm Show Week. Here’s a look, by the numbersCassie Miller has the story in this week’s edition of The Numbers Racket.

A woman incarcerated in Allegheny County Jail tells the Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism that she was forced to spend her recreational period — some four hours a day — painfully shackled to a table.

A panel of experts convened on the occasion of last week’s anniversary of the Capitol insurrection to say there’s still more work to be done on state and federal elections before the 2022 midterms, Darrell Ehrlick, of our sibling site, The Daily Montanan, reports.

Prison violence punishes LBT women, and it can kill, our partners at the Philadelphia Gay News report, in the latest installment in an ongoing series of stories.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry says it’s investigating ‘increasingly aggressive and sophisticated’ efforts to steal unemployment compensation benefits. And the agency is urging employers and workers to report any suspicious activity, I report.

The Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has asked a court to order officials in Fulton County to release all information requested as part of an open records request related to a third-party review of the 2020 General Election, Marley Parish reports.

En la Estrella-Capital: Los equipos de intervención ofrecen una forma única de combatir la violencia armada de Filadelfia. Y la prohibición gradual del peral de Callery comenzará el próximo mes.

On our Commentary Page this morning: The Netflix hit ‘Don’t Look Up!‘ is a documentary masquerading as satire, opinion regular Dick Polman writes. Pennsylvania should resolve to go big on reducing methane emissions in 2022, Joseph Minott of Clean Air Council writes. The new legislative maps can restore representation for Pennsylvania’s growing Latino communities, veteran advocate Erika Almirón writes. And Laila Martin Garcia, of the New Pennsylvania Project writes in English and in Spanish on the lessons of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre, speaks at a February 2021 press conference (Capital-Star file).

Legislative Republicans are pushing for even more control over redistricting, the Inquirer reports.

The state House is expected to vote as soon as this week on the proposed congressional map, Spotlight PA reports (via WITF-FM).

Staffing shortages will shutter 20 Pittsburgh public schools and programs today, the Tribune-Review reports.

More than 80 Philadelphia schools will temporarily go virtual because of staffing shortages, WHYY-FM reports.

Some restaurants are seeing a drop-off in business amid the latest surge in cases, PennLive reports.

Militia members rallied in Lancaster County three days before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. LancasterOnline explains why.

As expected, state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklinhas jumped into the 2022 race for governorUSA Today’s Pennsylvania Capital Bureau reports.

The federal government is offering some help to ease a shortage of school bus drivers, the Morning Call reports.

The Citizens’ Voice profiles the chairperson of Wilkes-Barre’s city council, who’s starting her second term at the helm.

GoErie introduces readers to the patrons of the Erie Public Library’s bookmobile.

A Washington County police chief is retiring after 30 years on the job, the Observer-Reporter reports.

The U.S. Treasury Department says tenants nationwide received $2.9 billion in rental relief last NovemberRoll Call reports.

Here’s your #Harrisburg Instagram of the Day:


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What Goes On
The House comes in at 12 p.m. today.
8 a.m., 515 Irvis: House State Government Committee
9:30 a.m., G50 Irvis: House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee
10 a.m., 523 Irvis: House Judiciary Committee
Call of the Chair, 140 MC: House Appropriataions Committee

Gov. Tom Wolf has no public schedule today.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept
Belated best wishes go out to stalwart reader Mandy Nace, who celebrated on Sunday. Hope your big day was a good one.

Heavy Rotation
Here’s some new music from Foals. It’s ‘Wake Me Up,’ which is kind of perfect for a morning newsletter.

Monday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link
Anaheim got past Detroit 4-3 in a shoot-out on Sunday. In his NHL debut, Ducks goalie Lukas Dostal made 33 saves on the way to the win.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.