Will Philly play host to the 2016 Democratic National Convention?

JESSICA GRIFFIN / DAILY NEWS STAFF U.S. Rep. Bob Brady will make his case tomorrow to local leaders.
JESSICA GRIFFIN / DAILY NEWS STAFF U.S. Rep. Bob Brady will make his case tomorrow to local leaders.
Posted: August 07, 2013

THE DEMOCRATIC National Committee will ask cities next month if they are interested in hosting the party's 2016 convention.

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady has his answer. Tomorrow, the city's Democratic Party chairman will make his case for a convention bid to political, tourism and labor leaders from the region.

To do so, Brady is bringing to Philly the team that produced the 2012 convention in Charlotte, N.C. They will explain the complicated process of winning the bid.

For Brady, it will be a trip through what might have been.

Brady, who first publicly floated the idea of a 2016 convention during the Charlotte convention 11 months ago, had been cheerleader-in-chief for an effort to hold the 2012 soiree here.

Mayor Nutter balked, Brady said, at the potential costs while the city struggled financially.

"He made a statement - and I hold him to it - that we'll try for 2016," Brady said yesterday.

Nutter, who is not attending the meeting or sending anyone from his staff, seems nowhere close to being committed to a bid.

Through a spokesman, Nutter yesterday reiterated all the reasons he cited while responding cautiously when Brady floated the idea in September.

Nutter is concerned about the cost of security, part of the millions of dollars the region would need to raise to run a convention. A planning group from the private and public sectors also would have to be assembled.

"This meeting is a very preliminary step toward getting information and putting us in a position to evaluate and help make the decision about whether to pursue a convention," Nutter said.

Brady has been lobbying his colleague, Florida U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

A DNC official in June confirmed that Brady and Wasserman Schultz had spoken about the 2016 convention.

The Democratic National Committee was last held in Philadelphia in 1948, when the party nominated President Harry S. Truman. The Republican National Convention was also held here in 1948, when the party nominated New York Gov. Thomas Dewey.

The city hosted the Republican National Convention in 2000, where then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush was nominated.

A nonprofit set up to run the 2000 convention raised $66 million, including $39 million from taxpayers in the Philadelphia region. A report compiled by the city later said the convention resulted in $345 million in economic impact to the region.


On Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN

Blog: ph.ly/PhillyClout.com

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