WASHINGTON – The Democratic National Committee will announce the location of its 2016 convention in the next few weeks.
Columbus,Ohio,holds the hopes and dreams for many Ohioans and members of Congress who are rooting for the underdog city.
The GOP has announced the swing state will host its national convention in Cleveland,and now the state is hoping to host both national conventions.
Sen. Sherrod Brown,D-Ohio, said in an interview that if the GOP had not picked Cleveland,the DNC would have chosen it for their convention.
“Columbus wants this way more than Philadelphia and New York,” Brown said.
Republican delegates will flock to Cleveland July 18 to 21,2016. Cleveland will be required to raise $50 million in preparation,but Rep. Marcia Fudge,D-Ohio, said the city expects to gain $500 million from hosting the convention. Fudge said she is excited to see the convention come to the city,even though it is for the opposing party.
“I asked if they would let me speak,and they laughed at me,” she said.
Now the question is where the Democrats will nominate their candidate. The list of options is narrowed to three cities: Philadelphia,New York and Columbus.
The three finalists are vying for the opportunity to be the chosen one and win thousands of dollars in revenue from delegates visiting the city.
Philadelphia is still in the running after hosting the Republican National Convention in 2000 that nominated George W. Bush. Kevin Washo,executive director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party,said he is confident that “the cradle of democracy” is the perfect city for the convention.
“It checks every single box that the DNC would want,” Washo said.
New York,which has hosted multiple national conventions,remains on the list. In 2004,the Republican National Convention nominated George W. Bush,and Bill Clinton was nominated at Madison Square Garden in 1992. Now Mayor Bill DeBlasio wants a convention in Brooklyn.
The DNC is looking for three things: logistics,fundraising and delegate entertainment.
Laura Santucci,the chief of staff to Mayor Bill de Blasio,said New York fulfills all the requirements.
The race to show the DNC who will be the best host continues with fundraising and entertainment hotspots.
JobsOhio recently contributed $10 million to the fundraising effort in Columbus. The city has 24 hotels within 20 miles of its convention center. Less known for its entertainment venues,Columbus has numerous parks,The Columbus Zoo and Ohio State University.
“Every week Columbus hosts 100,000 people in the form of an Ohio State University football game,” David Pepper,chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party said.
Philadelphia raised $63.7 million for the 2000 Republican National Convention. It is currently not releasing fundraising efforts for its bid to host the Democrats.
“We pride ourselves on having the expertise on all levels to handle events of this magnitude,and Philadelphians are standing ready to deliver a top notch delegate experience,” Khaila Burke-Green,communication manager for the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau,said.
More than 16,000 hotel rooms will be ready to house guests who attend the convention. The slogan “Let’s Make History Again” points to Philadelphia as the host in many historic United States moments. John Hancock wrote his famous signature on the bottom of the Declaration of Independence there,and it was the nation’s first capital. Convention delegates can visit the Liberty Bell,Independence Hall and the President’s House.
New York has raised $16 million,and has more than 105,000 hotel rooms. The Statue of Liberty,Times Square,the Empire State Building and Central Park are a few of the famed tourist spots in city that never sleeps.
Unlike the other two finalists,Columbus has never hosted a national convention. The biggest argument for this city is that Ohio has a great record for choosing presidents.
No Republican has become president without winning Ohio,and only one Democrat has. The north part of the state is traditionally Democratic,and the south is traditionally Republican. The center,where Columbus is located,changes parties more often.
“The center of the state is the swingiest,” Rep. Pat Tiberi,R-Ohio,said.
The DNC expects to announce the official city in the last weeks of January or the beginning of February.
Reach reporter Tori Knueven at [email protected] or 202-408-1492. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire. Like the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire interns on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.