Houston in the running to host 2028 Republican National Convention

Some Houston city council members pushed back on the convention due to the Republican party’s policies.


FILE: Former President Donald Trump speaks during the first day of the Republican National Convention Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C.

The City of Houston is in the running to host the 2028 Republican National Convention. City Council finalized its bid on Wednesday, approving its framework agreement that ensures the city, if selected, will provide the necessary services needed to host the convention.

Houston is joining Miami and Nashville as finalists for the convention with a decision expected later this month from the Republican National Committee. Houston hasn't hosted a Democratic or Republican Convention since 1992. A bid was submitted last year for the 2024 Democratic Convention, but Houston lost to Chicago.

Officials said they're estimating more than 50,000 visitors and a huge economic impact for the city. Despite a 13-1 vote, some council members pushed back on the convention due to the Republican party's policies. District I Council Member Robert Gallegos, the no vote, said he can not support the Republican party's stances on issues such as immigration and human rights.

"As the most diverse city in the nation, what we don’t want is to showcase the bigotry and hateful speeches on city property during the RNC (Republican National Convention) in 2028," he said. "We are not a sanctuary city for the divisive ideology of the RNC, nor for a gathering of those who wish to spread it, and I will not sell Houston’s and our nation’s personal rights and freedoms for the convention dollars."

Gallegos was not alone in his concerns. District C Council Member Abbie Kamin, who was not able to attend the meeting due to an illness, objected to the bid in a statement, referencing the Texas Republican Party's views on state issues.

"Right now, the position of the state’s Republican Party in their platform to this day states that Texas retains the right to secede from the United States," she said. “[I] cannot in good conscience support [the agreement] when large numbers of District C residents are being impacted by the explicit bigotry that’s been embraced by a small but loud faction."

Mayor Sylvester Turner said he respects the council members’ concerns, but the city welcomes all conventions since the city voted in a bipartisan way for the Democratic National Convention.

“Whether it’s the DNC, the Democratic National Convention, the Republican National Convention, a convention or conference that comes, it does not mean that we are adopting their thoughts, policies, or values – but we are a city that is highly diverse, and just like we went after one, we went after the other," he said.

Houston First Corporation, who submitted the bid and drafted the framework, said the convention will bring the much needed attention and economic benefit during a time of the year when the city struggles to get visitors.

"We’re in the business of bringing conventions and visitors to the city," said David Mincberg, Houston First Board Chair "This convention, if we’re successful in getting the RNC to come here, will bring thousands of people Houston at a time of the year where we don’t normally get thousands of people in August of 2028."

If Houston becomes the host city, events will take place in July or August of 2028 at the Toyota Center and the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Ashley Brown

Ashley Brown


Ashley Brown is a news reporter at Houston Public Media, News 88.7. She covers a range of topics, primarily focusing on Houston City Hall. Before moving back to Houston in 2022, she worked at WHQR Public Radio in Wilmington, NC where she covered city and county government, homelessness and community...

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