opinion

Hold 2020 GOP convention in Detroit

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Detroit and Michigan are in the midst of a comeback. A decade ago we were rated at the bottom in all major statistics.

Today, Detroit’s resurgence is a testament to the grit, tenacity and determination of people who live here and the businesses that have stayed, returned, or recently invested in the region.

Under conservative leadership, our communities have seen millions of dollars flood into our economy. Thousands of new jobs and small businesses are thriving in Detroit. President Trump’s policies have accelerated the comeback of the Motor City and put us on the map to host his re-nomination on the world stage.

I am in a unique capacity to speak on this subject as a business leader and former Trump 2016 co-chair. I remember traveling all over the state for the Trump campaign in 2016. Candidate Trump promised to help Detroit, especially as it is the center of American manufacturing.

When Trump turned Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin red, it was because of his commitment to the hard-working American. In return for these promises, Michigan delivered him a historic win. Now, President Trump is delivering.

Black unemployment is at an all-time low across the country, including southeast Michigan. And for the first time in generations, companies including Chrysler are moving production out of Mexico and back to Detroit. President Trump is showing the world what we have always known: Detroiters can build anything.

I know Detroiters. My company is headquartered in Metro Detroit. We employ over 200 people. I can tell you from experience: nobody works harder than Detroiters, and no one is more ready for a national convention.

Detroit has the infrastructure and resources to host the Republican National Convention. Every major Detroit sports team plays in an arena constructed within the past 15 years. Detroit’s QLine became operational this past summer. Detroit proper, as well as the surrounding area, boasts exciting and beautiful hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues. What’s more, Detroit has a rich cultural diversity. Detroit has Greektown, Mexicantown, Eastern Market and Campus Martius. Whatever you wish to eat, buy, drive or watch … you can do it in Detroit.

As an experienced business owner and operator, I can guarantee that the 2020 Republican National Convention would be a boon to our state’s economy. Hundreds of thousands of people would travel to our state, stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants and frequent our businesses. This is a great opportunity to show the world that Michigan is open for business.

The Republican National Committee has strategic reasons for bringing the national convention to Michigan. I was on the front-lines during the 2016 presidential race. We showed the country that Michigan matters. The quintessential Trump voter is a Michiganian. Michigan is home to the Reagan-Democrats. But now, they are the Trump-Republicans: blue-collar individuals who work hard and take care of their families. This is the silent majority that spoke volumes in 2016.

Michigan is a battleground state. Trump’s narrowest victory came in Michigan. If the national party is serious about keeping the Rust Belt red, it needs to pay extra-close attention to Michigan.

The chairwoman of the Republican National Committee is my friend, Ronna Romney McDaniel, a native. As state chairwoman, she played a significant role in delivering Michigan for Trump in 2016. Madame Chair has stronger connections to the Great-Lakes-State than any previous RNC leader.

The Republican Party was born here. The Republican Party’s past, present and future meet in Michigan. As 2020 approaches, Republicans need to realize: all roads lead to the Motor City.

Lena Epstein is a Republican candidate for Michigan’s 11th congressional district and co-owner of Vesco Oil Corporation.

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