Tampa Loses To Minneapolis for 2008 GOP Confab

TAMPA -

The envelope has been opened, and instead of heading to Tampa, the nation's top Republicans will be traveling to the land of 10,000 lakes for their 2008 convention. Minneapolis-St. Paul was announced as the site for the gathering.

It's a blow to civic boosters in Tampa, which was considered a favorite after being bested for the 2004 convention by New York, the sentimental favorite after 9g11.

In April, 18 community leaders - including Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and Hillsborough County Commission Ken Hagan - flew to the nation's capital to try to land the 2008 GOP convention. They were armed with pictures of palm trees, beaches - and most importantly, the cavernous St. Pete Times Forum.

In a prepared statement, Iorio said she looks forward to future opportunities to bid on national conventions.

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