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Kansas City officials make pitch for 2016 RNC convention

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WASHINGTON (KCTV/AP) -

Winter weather was no deterrent for a Kansas City delegation of about two dozen people who are leading the effort to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Kansas City's delegation made a presentation Monday in Washington, DC, to a committee recommending a site for the Republican convention. Kansas City is one of eight cities bidding for event.

Mayor Sly James says the 25-minute presentation included a video about the city and an overview of local fundraising, hotel space, transportation plans and other logistics. James said he capped it off by singing an a cappella rendition of Kansas City.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said fundraising, security, hotel space and transportation are all important factors in picking a convention site. He said politics are a lesser consideration.

While James previously has said lack of downtown convention hotels could hurt Kansas City's efforts to get big conventions, he was all smiles on Monday extolling his hometown's virtues including the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Sprint Center, sports, food and culture.

He said the presentation went "extremely well."

He said no convention goer would need to be on a bus for more than 30 minutes. He said transportation met RNC standards and "our hotel stock is good."

"We are on the move," he said. "We have a lot of good things going on."

The Republican National Committee will conduct site visits later in March. The finalists will be selected in the spring, and a final choice will be made by late summer or early fall.

Officials have said navigability is one of the primary factors.

Kansas City hosted in 2012 Major League Baseball's All-Star Game. Next year's Super Bowl would have been guaranteed for Arrowhead if Jackson County voters had approved a rolling roof in 2006, but that effort failed.

This is a unique opportunity, James said.

"There are very few opportunities outside of the Olympics where you will have 15,000 people ... where we will have a city run over by people coming in from all sorts of places, around this country and the world, and spending four, five, six days in our city where we will be able to show off all of our amenities," he said.

While Jackson County is a Democratic stronghold in Missouri, convention goers would be in areas including Republican friendly Johnson County, KS.

Poor weather kept three cities from attending the sessions Monday.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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