Columbus firm helping Vegas convention bid

Five cities made presentations to Republican committee Monday.

A Republican public relations and lobbying firm in Columbus is helping a city land the 2016 GOP convention, but it isn’t Columbus or even one of the other two Ohio cities in the running.

Darrin Klinger, a partner at Strategic Public Partners and a longtime Republican strategist in Ohio, confirmed Monday he is “part of the Las Vegas 2016 team.’’ Las Vegas, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus are among eight cities bidding for the Republican convention.

In an e-mail, Klinger wrote that he “was approached to join the Las Vegas 2016 effort long before I was aware that any Ohio cities would be interested in a bid. Of course, I’m going to keep my commitment and I’ve enjoyed being a part of the Las Vegas 2016 team.’’

Klinger acknowledged his firm’s work for Las Vegas on the same day that Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman and other city officials made an official presentation in Washington to the national Republicans. Columbus also is working to land the 2016 Democratic convention.

The heavy snow that hammered Washington wreaked havoc on the presentations as officials from Las Vegas, Cincinnati, and Dallas could not fly into the city. Coleman and his delegation flew in Sunday ahead of the storm.

The other cities making presentations Monday were Cleveland, Kansas City, Denver, and Phoenix. Las Vegas, Dallas and Cincinnati have been re-scheduled for March 21.

Officials connected to the Columbus effort declined to comment on Klinger working for Las Vegas.

Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire who has been a major donor to Republican candidates and causes, reportedly is among those helping to finance the Las Vegas effort. Adelson and his family are majority owners of Las Vegas Sands, a world-wide operator of casinos and resorts in Nevada and elsewhere.

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