What we know so far about the 2024 Republican Convention in Milwaukee

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The countdown to the 2024 Republican National Convention in Milwaukee has begun.

On Thursday, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel came to Milwaukee to check in on preparations and meet with business leaders for a kick off, launching the major push for next year's big political show.

"For us, this is the perfect place to highlight our nominee for the 2024 presidential campaign," McDaniel said during a news conference. "It is also the perfect place to provide the best delegate experience for people coming from across the country, across the territories."

McDaniel acknowledged that Wisconsin is a "battleground state," but added, "we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the wonderful city of Milwaukee."

"You really do have a city that shines," McDaniel said, as she lauded Milwaukee's political and business leadership. "And I am so excited to bring the world into Milwaukee, not just for the Republican Party but to help businesses and business owners and to highlight the bipartisan effort to do great things for this urban community."

McDaniel was able to turn her focus to the convention after winning re-election last week to a fourth two-year term as party chairwoman. On Thursday, she also announced that the city would host a primary debate during the election cycle — that could happen as early as sometime later this year.

Her appearance in Milwaukee comes as Republicans are ramping up for the presidential nomination fight. Former President Donald Trump is already in the race and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is set to announce her run Feb. 15. Other candidates are expected to join the race in the coming months.

Here's what to know about the convention:

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel speaks along side (from left), Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, Republican host committee chief executive officer Steve King, and Republican host committee chairman Reince Priebus during an update on the preparations taking place for the 2024 Republican National Convention in Milwaukee. Officials held the press conference at the 3rd Street Market Hall in Milwaukee on Thursday addressing details of the convention to be held July 15-18, 2024.

When is the 2024 Republican National Convention?

The convention will be held July 15-18, 2024.

Where will the convention be held in Milwaukee?

Fiserv Forum will be the center of action, with a newly expanded Wisconsin Center also a major venue.

Where will the delegates stay for the RNC?

Delegates and their guests will stay at hotels within 30 minutes of Fiserv Forum, with up to 50,000 visitors, including media, expected for the event. A Chicago-based company is contracting with more than 300 motels and hotels within a 60-mile radius of Fiserv Forum.

What does the host committee do and what is Reince Priebus' role in the convention?

Fundraising for the event is being handled by the convention host committee, which is led by Reince Priebus, a former White House chief of staff under Trump. Steve King is the CEO, Gerard Randall is the secretary and Alison Prange is senior adviser and chief of staff.

The host committee is responsible for things like contracting with the major venues and setting up a transportation system for the convention.

"Our job is to highlight this great city, great people, great state," Priebus said. "Expose this city to the entire world." He added the goal is to make sure "every part of this city is taking in the economic boom this convention has to offer."

"We're going to try to spread the delegates and guests throughout this entire area," he said.

The Republican National Committee's Committee on Arrangements will run the convention. Members of that group have not yet been named.

How much money has to be raised for the RNC?

The committee is targeting a fundraising goal of around $68 million. Priebus said the host committee is "far ahead of schedule" on raising money but did not provide a dollar figure.

The host committee has set up a website at www.mke2024host.org. The website will have updates for business and volunteer opportunities.

Who is in charge of the city's efforts?

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson has appointed a convention steering group to coordinate the city's planning, which was laid out recently in a PowerPoint filed with a key Common Council committee. The big ticket item that Milwaukee must apply for is a security grant from the federal government, expected to be some $50 million.

"Milwaukee is ready to welcome big conventions and big events to our city," Johnson said, expressing confidence that the grant would be approved.

Who are the players on Mayor Cavalier Johnson's steering group?

The co-chairs are Nick DeSiato, Johnson's chief of staff, and Andrea Fowler, an attorney who helped negotiate the city's contract with the Republican National Committee and who is now leading oversight on the administration and project management of hundreds of millions of dollars the city is receiving in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Other members include:

  • Lafayette Crump, city development commissioner.

  • Jeff Fleming, the mayor's communications director.

  • Bryan Rynders, budget and fiscal policy operations manager for the city Department of Administration.

  • Rhonda Kelsey, the city's purchasing director.

What are the steering committee's five objectives?

  • Staging a safe and successful event for Republican delegates and city residents.

  • Remaining engaged with the Common Council.

  • Showcasing Milwaukee's "beauty and vitality" to a national audience.

  • Providing economic opportunities for local businesses and workers "through the lens of equity and inclusion."

  • Communicating effectively with the local community.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: What we know about 2024 Republican Convention in Milwaukee