Cleveland, Columbus in running for Dem convention

Associated Press Published:

WASHINGTON -- 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.

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. Cleveland, 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.

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Follow Ken Thomas on Twitter at http://twitter.com/AP_Ken_Thomas

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