Democrats: Milwaukee convention choice shows party values


MILWAUKEE (AP) - Milwaukee will host the 2020 Democratic National Convention, party leaders announced Monday, highlighting the battleground state of Wisconsin that helped elect President Donald Trump and now will launch an opponent who could oust him.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez chose Milwaukee over Houston and Miami after deliberations lingered longer than party leaders or officials from the three finalist cities had expected.

"Where you hold our convention is a very strong statement of your values and who and what we are fighting for," Perez said Monday surrounded by state and local officials.

Perez praised Milwaukee's diversity and its labor unions, along with Wisconsin's working-class identity. He called it an ideal backdrop for Democrats to launch a fall campaign to reclaim the White House four years after Trump stunningly outpaced Hillary Clinton across the old industrial belt of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes.

"The Democratic Party has again become an every ZIP code party," Perez said. "We're listening to people in every corner of the country."

The convention is scheduled for July 13-16, 2020.

It will be the first time in over a century that Democrats will nominate their presidential candidate in a Midwestern city other than Chicago. Instead, the spotlight will shine for a week on a metro area of about 1.6 million people.

Once dubbed as "The Machine Shop of the World," the city is the birthplace of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and is known for its enduring love affair with beer - a trait displayed Monday as Perez and surrounding dignitaries closed their celebratory news conference with a toast.

Republicans are set to gather in Charlotte, the largest city in battleground North Carolina, on Aug. 24-27, 2020.

Perez noted that the convention site doesn't determine the November outcome, but Democrats see plenty of symbolism in Milwaukee after a bitter 2016 election defined by Clinton being nearly swept in what her campaign aides had confidently called a Midwestern "Blue Wall." That band of states twice sided with President Barack Obama, but Clinton held only Minnesota, ceding Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania - a combined 64 of the necessary 270 electoral votes - as white working-class voters flocked to Trump.

It was the first time since 1984 that Republicans claimed Wisconsin in a presidential election. Afterward, Clinton took withering criticism for not once visiting Wisconsin as a general election candidate.

Since then, Wisconsinites re-elected Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin and ousted Republican Gov. Scott Walker in favor of Democrat Tony Evers and the state's first black lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes.

Evers and Barnes beamed Monday as they welcomed Perez.

Wisconsin Democrats pointed to those midterm election results as they lobbied Perez and DNC officials. "We plan to carry that momentum into 2020 and beyond," Barnes said Monday.

In a political twist, Milwaukee officials have credited Walker for supporting the convention bid. Democratic Party proceedings will play out in the new 17,500-seat arena that Walker helped build for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks by securing public financing from state lawmakers. Walker later lobbied GOP-leaning business leaders and donors to support Milwaukee's effort to land the event.

Perez was not among those praising Walker, repeatedly referring to the "former governor" without naming him and blasting his policies, particularly his fights with public unions and his spending priorities on education, for setting up Democrats' midterm success.

For his part, Walker avoided the rancor.

"When it comes to a big convention like this, it's not red, it's not blue, it's green," Walker told The Associated Press after the announcement, referring to the economic impact.

Walker did warn Democrats that for all their enthusiasm, the convention could energize complacent Wisconsin Republicans to Trump's benefit. "I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who leans Democrat who wasn't already motivated in the city or the state against the president," Walker said.

Democratic officials in Washington said picking a host city is as much about logistics as anything else, even as they acknowledge political optics.

On logistics, Milwaukee may have pulled somewhat of an upset, given its small footprint compared to Houston and Miami, cities long accustomed to hosting major events. Houston hosted the Super Bowl as recently as February 2017.

Milwaukee organizers pitched their city - the Democratic stronghold of Wisconsin - as resurgent. Known for some of the country's biggest brewers, including Pabst, Schlitz, Miller and Blatz, the metro area has a redeveloped downtown, a hotel capacity exceeding 17,000 rooms and a new downtown streetcar line that opened in November.

Still, the city had to prove it has the overall capacity for tens of thousands of delegates, party activists, donors and media.

DNC officials have said that the question wasn't about hotel rooms but about whether Milwaukee has requisite venues for other convention staples, from daily sit-down breakfast meetings for 57 state and territorial delegations to evening events put on by state parties, corporations, lobbyists and donors. Even as Milwaukee officials insisted they have the venues, some deep-pocketed Democrats in nearby Chicago - a 90-minute drive - stepped in to note their proximity.

Houston and Miami, meanwhile, faced their own challenges.

Miami has an impressive concentration of luxury hotels, but many are in Miami Beach across bridges from downtown. That raised the prospect of delegates spending hours in traffic. The city's arena also is not as new as Milwaukee's.

Houston had few if any logistical barriers. But according to party officials with knowledge of the process, the city's organizing committee struggled to come up with the necessary financing without resorting to oil and gas money. That industry is the city's bread and butter, but it's become anathema in Democratic politics because of its part in climate change. The city's Democratic mayor also is embroiled in a labor dispute with Houston firefighters.

Also, though Houston and Miami are Democratic anchors in their states, Texas and Florida have no Democratic governor or senator between them.


Barrow reported from Atlanta. Bauer reported from Madison, Wis.


Follow the reporters on Twitter at , and


More Related News

Hundreds gather at U.S. Supreme Court to protest state abortion bans as step backward
Hundreds gather at U.S. Supreme Court to protest state abortion bans as step backward

Many of the restrictions are intended to draw legal challenges, which religious conservatives hope will lead the nation's top court to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy. "We are not going to allow them to move our country backward," U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, one of the two dozen Democrats running for president, told the crowd through a megaphone. The rally is one of scores scheduled for Tuesday around the country by the American Civil Liberties Union, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and other abortion rights group.

Judge sides with Congress over Trump in demands for records
Judge sides with Congress over Trump in demands for records

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge ruled against President Donald Trump on Monday in a financial records dispute with Congress and said lawmakers should get the documents they have subpoenaed. Trump called it a "crazy" decision that his lawyers would appeal.

White House does not need a
White House does not need a 'strongman,' Hickenlooper says in 2020 policy speech
  • US
  • 2019-05-20 18:05:39Z

"I think history clearly demonstrates that when you have a so-called strongman - a dictator - you don't have rule of law," Hickenlooper said when asked at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs if that was a better approach to foreign policy than multilateralism. Hickenlooper said President Donald Trump has "fawned over" North Korea's Kim Jong Un and treated Russia's Vladimir Putin "as his puppet master." The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Hickenlooper's address.

Trump says tariffs making companies leave China, a deal can
Trump says tariffs making companies leave China, a deal can't be '50-50'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said his tariffs on Chinese goods are causing companies to move production out of China to Vietnam and other countries in Asia, and added that any agreement with China cannot be a "50-50" deal.

Trump says
Trump says 'Pro-Life' but favors exceptions for rape, incest

President Donald Trump has declared himself "strongly Pro-Life", days after two US states passed tough new restrictions on abortions, but said exceptions should be made for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. The US president spelled out his position on abortion -- set to feature prominently

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


  • Michaeleloxy
    (2019-04-02 17:35:44Z)

    bet bet high keno roller [url=]virtual blackjack game download[/url] best usa online craps play online casino philippines

  • RickRinee
    (2019-04-03 18:03:59Z)

    online casino roulette no download [url=]no download usa casinos[/url] gambling site best slots machine game

  • FloydBig
    (2019-04-04 13:38:29Z)

    black jack [url=]online casino best[/url] best craps online online casino software usa

  • RogerSkaxy
    (2019-04-08 04:42:47Z)

    internet gambling for usa [url=]play online casino usa[/url] rtg casino android jackpotjoy online casino

  • Curtisnus
    (2019-04-29 14:26:29Z)

    top rated canadian pharmacies online
    xanax dosage
    Walgreens Pharmacy
    [url=]xanax generic[/url]
    fda approved canadian online pharmacies
    generic for xanax
    Online Canadian Pharmacies
    [url=]lorazepam vs xanax[/url]
    online pharmacies

  • Johnnyjax
    (2019-04-30 09:58:22Z)

    top rated canadian pharmacies online
    xanax dosage
    lloyds pharmacy online
    [url=]xanax bar[/url]
    canadian pharmacies shipping to usa
    xanax side effects
    online pharmacy without scripts
    [url=]generic xanax[/url]
    canadian pharmacy cialis

  • Jamesdep
    (2019-05-06 21:53:51Z)

    Online Drugstores
    xanax side effects
    Legitimate Online Pharmacies
    [url=]xanax withdrawal[/url]
    Top Rated Online Canadian Pharmacies
    generic for xanax
    drugstore online
    [url=]generic for xanax[/url]
    canadian pharmacy viagra

  • Williamnunty
    (2019-05-09 12:05:07Z)

    jeux de casino gratuits 770
    casino en ligne france autorise [url=]400 machines a sous gratuites[/url]
    jouer au casino partouche

  • Frankdrest
    (2019-05-13 08:05:50Z)

    casino canadien en ligne securitaire
    400 machines a sous gratuites [url=]jouer au casino gratuitement 770[/url]
    casino kahnawake machine a sous

  • Edgarevona
    (2019-05-17 16:42:06Z)

    casino 770 jeux gratuits dernieres machines [url=]casino[/url]
    jouer au casino gratuitement 770

  • Edgarevona
    (2019-05-19 02:51:27Z)

    casino en ligne
    casino en ligne [url=]les casinos[/url]
    casino 770 machine a sous jeux gratuits


Top News: Latin America

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.