The Democratic National Committee has chosen Milwaukee as the site of the Democratic National Convention in July 2020, the committee announced Monday after sources confirmed the pick to CNN.
The decision means the world of Democratic politics will head to Wisconsin, a state the party failed to win during the 2016 election, to pick their 2020 nominee. The move is a signal that the party believes winning back the upper Midwest could be central to their plans to oust President Donald Trump.
“This choice is a statement of our values, and I’m thrilled Milwaukee will host the 2020 Democratic National Convention,” DNC chairman Tom Perez said. “The Democratic Party is the party of working people, and Milwaukee is a city of working people. We saw in this last election what we can accomplish when we come together, invest, and fight for working people, and that was proven right here in Wisconsin.”
Milwaukee was one of three finalists and the city defeated Miami Beach and Houston.
“I want to thank the leaders in Houston and Miami for all their hard work throughout this process. They both put forward competitive proposals that I’m sure will lead them to hosting future conventions,” Perez said.
According to one Democratic source familiar with the process, Houston made a strong pitch and the logistics of the event would have worked, but it wasn’t picked because of a dispute between Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, the fire fighters union in the Texas city.
The same aide said logistics were the primary issue for Miami Beach.
“This is a great day for the city of Milwaukee and for the state of Wisconsin,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in a statement. “Milwaukee is a first-class city, and we are ready to showcase Milwaukee on one of the largest stages in the world.”
The Democratic National Convention is slated to take place from July 13 to July 16, 2020, almost two weeks earlier than the 2016 convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Democrats moved the convention up out of anticipation of a crowded and contentious primary.
“The Democratic Party is committed to organizing everywhere and holding the convention in mid-July allows us to continue our work doing exactly that,” Perez said in a statement when he announced the early convention. “My priority is to ensure that the 2020 nominating process is the most open, fair, transparent and inclusive in our party’s history.”
So far, over a dozen Democrats are running for President and a handful more, including Vice President Joe Biden and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, are considering a bid.
An earlier convention also allows the eventual nominee to spend general election funds earlier in the race. While candidates can raise money for both their primary and the general election during the primary, they cannot spend the general election money until they secure the nomination, according to Federal Election Commission rules.
Republicans will host their national convention more than a month later in Charlotte, North Carolina, from August 24 to August 27, 2020.