GOP to go to Minnesota

Republicans chose the Twin Cities in Minnesota over Cleveland, Tampa, Fla., and New York as the site for their 2008 presidential nominating convention.

The convention proper will be held in Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, where the Minnesota Wild National Hockey League team plays, but Minnesota officials said the decision holds broad economic impact for the region. The convention could bring in as much as $150 million, officials said.

Democrats were also considering holding their convention in 2008 in the Twin Cities. But the Democratic mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis expressed no regret that their cities would host the showcase event for the rival party. 

“Republicans have more money than Democrats,” said St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

The Twin Cities last hosted a national political convention in 1892, when Republicans nominated Benjamin Harrison for president.

Minnesota traditionally votes for the Democratic candidate for president, but the margin has narrowed in recent years.