The Southern Republican Leadership Conference is a biennial gathering of leaders of the Republican Party, industry, media, government, and issue groups, held in the winter or spring of election years. Members from the 14 states that make up the RNC Southern Region selected Charleston, South Carolina, to host the 2012 conference at their January 2011 meeting. Attendees include: Republican elected officials, donors, activists, and operatives; the Republican candidates running for president; national representatives from small businesses to large corporations, traditional and new media, as well as issue advocacy groups.
This year’s SRLC is expected to be one of the largest multistate events, outside of the national convention. SRLCs, also, have a tradition of providing opportunities for networking and relationship building among conference sponsors, attendees, and speakers. With over 2,000 attendees projected for the 2012 event, the conference has grown in size and influence and is considered a must attend Republican event focused on an array of national issues, interests, and candidates.
Republican presidential candidates have a long tradition of addressing, attending, and actively participating in this conference. Additionally, this year, CNN will partner with the SRLC in airing a presidential debate to be broadcast live. SRLC 2012 has an added twist, as it ends on the Saturday of South Carolina’s “First in the South” presidential primary. This year’s unique timing makes SRLC 2012 one last chance to reach Republicans across the South before they start to vote.