RNC reaction: CLE has chance to be elevated in the eyes of the nation

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CLEVELAND -- Reaction is pouring in after Tuesday’s huge announcement: Cleveland has been recommended to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Cleveland was chosen over Dallas. It will be the first national political convention held in Northeast Ohio in 80 years; the last national convention was when Cleveland hosted Republicans in 1936.

"We're thrilled to stand here today and say that Cleveland will host the 2016 Republican National Convention," said executive host committee chairman Terry Egger, during an afternoon news conference at the Global Center for Health Innovation downtown. *Watch the entire press conference below.*

billboardAll over town, people in Northeast Ohio were celebrating, as billboards popped up along highways.

Late Tuesday morning, the Republican National Committee’s site selection committee recommended that its 2016 national convention be held in Cleveland, eliminating Dallas, which was the last city in the running.

"The enthusiasm, and the fact that we wanted it and it wasn't just the team here or public officials or business people; it was the entire community that was inviting them to be here," said Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.

The effort to land the convention brought local Democrats and Republicans together.

"This convention is gonna give Cleveland the opportunity to be elevated in the eyes of the nation. It's also gonna give the opportunity for Republicans to be elevated in the eyes of Cleveland," said Cuyahoga County Republican Chairman Robert Frost.

The Republican Convention is expected to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into Cleveland's economy. But city leaders said it will also bring a boost to the city's reputation.

"We're gonna have five days of the best coverage around the nation, around the world, to showcase what Cleveland is really all about; so we hope it stimulates pride, investment, but a perception that is more accurate about who we are today," said Egger.

"Ohio's the linchpin in every single election. I mean if we don't win Texas, we might as well not even have an election, okay; so Ohio's always a swing state," said Ohio Governor John Kasich.

"My first statement would be to congratulate Cleveland. They've got a wonderful governor and wonderful senator, who I know well, who will be great hosts," said former Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Cleveland also put in a bid to host the Democratic National Convention, but city leaders say now it's all about the RNC.

"There is not an opportunity to host both conventions, so that's where our focus will be for now," Egger said.

New hotels, a new convention center and other amenities convinced Republicans that Cleveland is a city on the rise.

"If you haven't been to Cleveland lately, it's a real surprise how beautiful it is down by that lake and we're excited about bringing the RNC to Cleveland in 2016,” said national RNC chairman Reince Priebus during an interview with FOX News.

Members of the RNC site selection committee will return to Cleveland in the coming days and weeks to iron out more details, including exact dates, which have not been determined. Republicans want to hold the convention in late June or early July.

The full RNC will vote on whether to hold the convention in Cleveland in August during their annual meeting in Chicago. The vote is generally seen as a formality.

*Read much more on the Republican National Convention*