Barring upheaval in the Republican Party between now and 1992, the GOP will meet in George Bush's adopted hometown of Houston next year to nominate him for a second term.

The party's site selection committee announced Tuesday that Houston beat out New Orleans, host of the party's 1988 convention, and San Diego, which was also passed over in 1972.The choice is expected to be easily approved by the Republican National Committee later this month.

"I think this is going to be a very positive thing for Houston and it's going to be a very major event for everyone," said Mayor Kathy Whitmire.

"I am absolutely ecstatic," said Sherry Johnson, chairwoman of the Harris County Republican Party.

Although Houston is Bush's adopted hometown, Republican Party spokesman B. Jay Cooper said the president, a former Texas oil man, pulled no strings on its behalf. The White House's only instructions were to "get the best site," he said.

The convention will take place Aug. 17-20, 1992, at the Houston Astrodome. The huge stadium, which set the standard for modern indoor sports complexes when it opened 25 years ago, was recently renovated.

The Democrats have already chosen New York for their convention in 1992, also beating out New Orleans.