After the 2016 election, many political pundits poked fun at the Hillary Clinton campaign for not setting foot in the state of Wisconsin during the general election, allowing Donald Trump to be the first Republican to carry the Badger State since 1984. Democrats could be close to making sure that does not happen again.
Milwaukee has been on the shortlist for the Democrat National Committee almost since the day after the election. The other two finalists are Miami Beach, Fla. and Houston. Democrats are expected to announce the pick as early as next week.
To bolster the effort, Democrats from across the Midwest are working the phones with party leaders, corporations, and others to seal the deal. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has been involved behind-the-scenes, as well as others from the Chicago-area including Chicago Bulls CEO and President Michael Reinsdorf.
In August, a coalition of Midwestern senators signed on to a letter to the DNC calling for a Milwaukee selection, including Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tina Smith (D-Minn), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), as well as former Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.). Klobuchar announced her presidential campaign last weekend and Brown is seriously considering jumping in as well.
“Democrats have not held a convention in the Midwest since 1996, and a Milwaukee convention would send a strong message to the nation that winning America’s heartland is a priority in the 2020 election cycle and beyond,” the senators wrote. “Wisconsin is a state with a deep progressive and Democratic history. It is an ideal place for our party to showcase our values, priorities, and agenda in our commitment to fight for everyday Americans.”
The convention would be held at the new home of the Milwaukee Bucks: Fiserv Forum. There is a lot of money to be made and spent in hosting a major party’s national convention; the economic story helps not only the hospitality and entertainment realms but all sizes of businesses.
The wife of DNC Chairman Tom Perez is from a Milwaukee suburb and their daughter attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
For further background on the bid, read more here.