With LeBron James coming home and the Republican National Committee selecting our city to host the GOP's 2016 presidential nominating convention, it has been a great month for the city of Cleveland.
As a lifelong Cavs fan, I join my fellow Clevelanders of all political persuasions in the hope of "King James" bringing a trophy back to Northeast Ohio. However, as a conservative, I'm incredibly excited about how beneficial it will be to both our city, and the Republican Party, for Cleveland to be at the epicenter of one of the most important conventions in recent memory.
Since setting up shop in 2005, I've had the privilege of running the largest, and one of the only, Republican political firms in the Cleveland area.
Through the work we do, I've been able to bring in countless political consultants from all corners of the nation. They've seen the great things our city has to offer, and many have commented on the potential we have to showcase it to a larger audience. I couldn't be more thrilled that the realization of that optimism has finally come to fruition. Like many businesses here, we've grown our company in tandem with the astonishing revival that has happened here in Cleveland. To that end, few would argue against the premise that being awarded the 2016 GOP convention is a milestone in our resurgence that we all should be proud of.
I've been involved in Republican politics for some time now, so, as you would expect, I was present at the last two conventions in Tampa and Saint Paul. I witnessed firsthand the positive impact they had on local businesses. The service industry in Cleveland will certainly thrive during the convention.
However, there will also be a long-term benefit as a result of the days of positive media exposure our city will have as we are at the center of a highly anticipated presidential election. Furthermore, once we excel at hosting a convention of this stature, it will open the door to many future possibilities. Some of our country's largest financiers and many people of great influence will be spending a lot of time here.
We have the chance to showcase all our city has to offer and encourage these individuals that she is worth investing in. Put simply, from a business standpoint, this is a great opportunity for Cleveland.
As a conservative, I would be remiss if I did not reflect on the political benefit of Cleveland hosting the convention. By the 2016 election, our country will truly be at a crossroads. We will have endured eight years under President Barack Obama. Ohioans, like a majority of Americans, will be hungry for a new direction. They will be craving a path with more jobs, lower taxes and a true plan to reduce our debt and deficit. I am certain that Republicans will be best poised to offer that alternative.
As we've seen in years past, the Buckeye State will once again be one of the most important swing states. Our 18 electoral votes will be hotly contested by both the Republican and Democratic nominees, and with a significant number of votes coming out of Cuyahoga County, this region of Ohio will certainly be important for the GOP. Sure, there are going to be countless phone calls, scores of pieces of political mail, and relentless television ads to try and sway votes. Arguably, more political television advertisements are bought in the Cleveland market than almost anywhere else in the country. Thus, nothing can replace the earned media and personal attention this part of the state will receive from the Republican Party during the convention.
In closing, regardless of party, at heart, we are all Clevelanders. We love this city and are incredibly proud to show her off. It is an honor for the RNC to choose us, but it will be a privilege for everyone who visits to be able to experience the Cleveland we call home. We have a lot of work to do before 2016, but I am confident we will do Moses Cleaveland proud.
Shannon Burns is the founder and CEO of Victory Solutions LLC, one of the largest political firms in the Cleveland area, which specializes in new technologies and services to assist Republican campaigns around the country.