RNC sets 2016 presidential convention dates

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SAN DIEGO - The Republican Party will officially choose its presidential nominee in July 2016 -- a full month before the GOP traditionally picks its candidate to carry the party flag into the general election, the party announced Wednesday.

The convention will be held in Cleveland the week of July 18, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a press release. In August, the RNC announced that Cleveland would host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Moving the convention to July is just one of several moves by Priebus to try and put the GOP nominee in the strongest possible position heading into the 2016 general election. Naming a nominee in July will give the party more time to rally behind the candidate. And Priebus is also working to limit the number of primary debates and is condensing the primary calendar to avoid a long, drawn out battle for the GOP nomination.

The RNC had also considered holding the convention in June before deciding on the July date.

Democrats have yet to announce a host city or a time frame for when the Democratic National Convention will be held.

The RNC is holding its winter meeting in California this week where Priebus is expected to win another term as chairman.

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