Myrtle Beach officials are hoping to get a third Republican presidential primary debate in as many election cycles.
Myrtle Beach City Council on Tuesday passed a resolution that supports having the city as a site for a 2016 Republican presidential primary debate in February. The South Carolina primary is Feb. 20.
$4 million Estimated direct spending by hosting debate
“A debate would have an economic impact of $3 [million] to $4 million and generate about $10 million in publicity for Myrtle Beach,” city spokesman Mark Kruea said.
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Myrtle Beach hosted GOP presidential primary debates in 2012 and 2008, as well as a Democratic presidential primary debate in 2008. The 2012 debate, sponsored by Fox News, was held that January in the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
We have formally invited both parties to host their 2016 debates in Myrtle Beach and remain hopeful that, once again, the road to the White House will run through Myrtle Beach.”
Brad Dean, president and CEO of Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
Brad Dean, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said having successful debates in 2008 and 2012 ensures that the city receives consideration, but with fewer debates expected next year, the competition is more stiff. He said the chamber has invited both parties to host debates in Myrtle Beach.
“Winning the rights to host a nationally televised debate is a long, intensive process that begins two years in advance and involves various individuals and committees,” Dean said. “We have formally invited both parties to host their 2016 debates in Myrtle Beach and remain hopeful that, once again, the road to the White House will run through Myrtle Beach.”
$10 million Worth of publicity for Myrtle Beach
Dean said the state and national party chairmen are key decision makers in selecting a debate location, and added that the national networks that sponsor the debates also must agree.
Kruea said he thought there might be a few other South Carolina communities vying for a chance to host a debate, but did not say which cities. He added that Myrtle Beach has the facilities, including the convention center, to host the large event.