WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Hours after the Republican National Committee unanimously voted to make Charlotte the host city for the 2020 Republican National Convention, New Hanover County Commissioner Skip Watkins said he was happy to hear the news.
"I was excited," Watkins said in an interview in the WECT Digital Studio. "It's gonna be a great economic boon for Charlotte and the western part of the state."
Watkins, a Republican, wasn't just toeing his political party's line when discussing the RNC coming to Charlotte. He lauded the Charlotte City Council's decision, especially considering the council is predominantly Democrat.
"Mayor (Vi) Lyles, a Democrat, supported it, endorsed it," Watkins said. "I think it showed great wisdom and inclusion that Charlotte saw the balance of having the (Democratic National Convention) in '16 and having the GOP in '20."
There was some debate among Charlotte leaders about hosting the RNC and the Charlotte City Council's vote in a special meeting Monday was 6-5 in favor. More than 100 people spoke at that meeting.
Watkins wants voters not to focus on the divide between Republicans and Democrats.
"People get caught up sometimes in whether it's Republican or Democrat," Watkins said. "I think it's about the process of governance. We always wanna throw left or right or R or Ds out there, but we're almost 250 years old as a nation and this is about the process of governance. I think it goes far beyond political party."
Having been to a couple of conventions in Charlotte, Watkins said it's a great host city and if he can go to the RNC in 2020, he will.