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Reagan Reported to Be Neutral on Site of '88 GOP Convention

March 14, 1986|From a Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Despite speculation that Los Angeles is the First Family's first choice for the site of the 1988 GOP convention, Republican National Chairman Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. said Thursday that he has been assured that President Reagan is neutral on the issue.

He also said the convention will be held Aug. 15 to 18, after the Democratic convention, which is scheduled to begin July 18.

Fahrenkopf told reporters here after a meeting of the convention site selection committee that he had discussed the convention location with White House Chief of Staff Donald T. Regan and had been told that "the President had no preference."

The First Lady's views were not mentioned, Fahrenkopf said. Mrs. Reagan reportedly has an interest in Los Angeles as a convention site because it could mean a sentimental farewell for her husband.

No Decision Yet

"There has been a great deal of speculation . . . that this committee has already made up its mind where we're going," said Fahrenkopf. "That is not the case."

"This puts Los Angeles in the same position as everyone else," said Carl Gills, a site selection committee member from Georgia. "It will have to get the convention on its merits."

Among the criteria for the convention city listed by Fahrenkopf were an arena with 17,000 seats and the availability of 20,000 first-class hotel rooms.

Besides Los Angeles, the cities that have so far expressed an interest are Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego, St. Louis and Seattle.

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