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The Republican National Committee announced Thursday the finalists to host its 2016 convention -- Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Denver, Dallas, Kansas City, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.

As we've reported earlier, the GOP convention is slated to take place in late June or early July -- earlier than in past years.

The DNC, meanwhile, is gathering Thursday for its three-day winter meeting in DC. But it isn't as far along as the RNC is picking out convention finalists. The DNC has just begun its bidding process.