WASHINGTON (AP) — New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s political base, and two cities in presidential battleground Ohio are among the six locations under consideration for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, officials announced Saturday.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida congresswoman who leads the Democratic National Committee, 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 national committee officials would 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 Mayor Bill de Blasio and a liberal stronghold. New York officials have said they would hold the convention at the Barclays Center, the new home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.
A New York convention could offer some Clinton nostalgia and a homecoming of sorts if the former first lady runs for president again.
Clinton, the former secretary of state, represented New York in the Senate from 2001 until she joined President Barack Obama’s administration in 2009. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, accepted his party’s presidential nomination at the 1992 convention in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
The former secretary of state is launching a book tour next week and has said she will make a decision about whether to mount another presidential bid later this year.
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 enduring swing states. Party leaders attending Saturday’s executive committee meeting were greeted by a sign promoting Columbus’s bid, with the tagline, “Bring It.” Cleveland, meanwhile, is in the running to host the conventions of both parties.
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 were adopted. Pennsylvania has been friendly Democratic territory in recent elections; Republicans have not won the state in a presidential election since 1988.
Birmingham represented a surprise bid and would bring Democrats into reliably Republican territory. The last Democratic presidential candidate to carry Alabama was Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Fifteen cities were invited to submit bids but several decided not to seek the convention, including Atlanta; Las Vegas; Miami; Orlando, Florida; and Chicago, Obama’s hometown.
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.