Second Republican senator says he’ll skip GOP convention
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said on Tuesday that he will not attend his party’s national convention next month, becoming the second GOP senator to announce they will skip the event.
“Senator Alexander is an honorary chair of the Tennessee Trump campaign, but he will not be attending the convention because he believes the delegate spots should be reserved for those who have not had that privilege before as he has had,” Alexander’s office said in a statement.
The decision from Alexander, who chose not to seek reelection this year, comes a day after Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told Iowa reporters during a conference call that he would also not attend the Republican National Convention amid an uptick in coronavirus cases.
“I’m not going to go. And I’m not going to go because of the virus situation,” Grassley said.
Republicans decided to move key parts of their convention, including Trump’s speech accepting the party’s nomination, from Charlotte, N.C., to Jacksonville, Fla., amid a dispute with North Carolina’s governor over whether the convention could take place without social distancing measures.
But Florida is seeing an uptick in its number of coronavirus cases, including reporting 11,458 new cases on July 4, marking an all-time single-day high for the state.
Though Grassley and Alexander are the only two senators who have said they will not attend, several others have suggested that their plans are in flux as they track the spread of the virus.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said he supported Trump’s reelection bid but was uncertain about attending the convention due to the virus.
“We’ll see what the situation is then in terms of what COVID-19 is that week,” Portman told Ohio reporters late last month during a conference call.
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