New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s political base, and two cities in presidential battleground Ohio are among the six cities under consideration for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, officials announced Saturday.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida congresswoman who leads the DNC, said it had received proposals from Birmingham, Alabama; Columbus, Ohio; Cleveland; New York; Philadelphia and Phoenix. Wasserman Schultz said the committee had “fantastic options” and a group of DNC officials will evaluate the cities and make site visits as the committee considers its options.
The contenders include large cities familiar with holding major conventions and potential out-of-the-box picks.
New York’s proposal would stage the convention in Brooklyn, the home of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and a liberal stronghold. The New York bid creates the possibility that Clinton, the former secretary of state and the leading Democratic contender for president, could claim the party’s nomination in the state she once represented in the Senate.
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New York officials have said they would hold the convention at the Barclays Center, the new home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.
With two cities in the mix, Ohio Democratic officials have pushed to hold the convention in their state, which remains among the nation’s most pre-eminent presidential battleground states.
Phoenix would give Democrats a way to connect with voters in Arizona, long eyed by the party as a potential swing state. Bill Clinton was the last Democrat to carry Arizona in a presidential election in 1996 but before that, Democrats had lost every presidential race in that state since Harry Truman in 1948.
Philadelphia was the site of the 2000 Republican convention, where George W. Bush was first nominated, and would allow Democrats to hold its event in the city where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution was adopted.
Birmingham represented a surprise bid and would bring Democrats into a reliably Republican state. The last Democratic presidential candidate to carry Alabama was Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Fifteen cities were invited to submit bids but several deciding not to seek the convention, including Atlanta, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, Florida, and Chicago, the home of President Barack Obama.
Many factors determine the selection, most notably whether the city has the facilities to stage the pageantry and whether there are enough hotels to house the delegates and media descending on the region.
Republicans are considering four cities for its 2016 convention: Dallas, Denver, Cleveland and Kansas City, Missouri.