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L.A. Hopes to Host '88 GOP Convention

January 25, 1986|ROBERT SHOGAN | Times Political Writer

WASHINGTON — Los Angeles has officially declared its interest in bidding for the 1988 GOP convention, Republican National Chairman Frank J. Fahrenkopf says, and some party insiders believe that the city will be decisively favored in the competition by President and Mrs. Reagan.

The Greater Los Angeles Visitors and Convention Bureau, in a Jan. 13 letter, asked about "exploring the possibilities" for hosting the convention, Fahrenkopf said. "Our organization realizes that there is a great deal of preparation required prior to the site selection process," wrote Albert A. Dorskind, president of the bureau.

Fahrenkopf released the letter as Republican National Committee members gathered for their annual meeting.

The chairman denied reports that the Reagans already have indicated that they would like the convention to take place in Los Angeles, near the President's home. "No one has said anything to me," he said.

But Fahrenkopf and other party leaders acknowledged that any expression of preference by the First Family would carry great weight. Some even suggested that Los Angeles might be chosen in part simply because it is believed that the Reagans, particularly First Lady Nancy Reagan, would want it there.

Regardless of the Reagans' feelings, California's status as the nation's most-populous state makes Los Angeles a strong contender to host the convention, party leaders pointed out. The last national convention in Los Angeles was the 1960 Democratic convention, which nominated then-Sen. John F. Kennedy.

But some Republicans said they are worried that a Los Angeles convention might cause political problems for the party by focusing extra attention on the outgoing President from California at the expense of the 1988 standard-bearer.

"The nominee could be overshadowed," said one consultant. "But there's nobody around willing to tell the Reagans that."

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