Two Ohio cities - Columbus and Cleveland - as well as nearby Indianapolis have been asked to make a bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Columbus, cut just weeks ago from the list of possible hosts of the Republican National Convention, was one of the 15 cities asked to apply. Cleveland, which is also a finalist to host the Republican convention, was also asked to bid for the Democratic convention.
A spokeswoman for Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman confirmed that the city had received the invitation.
Also on the list were Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City. Cities interested in bidding to host the Democratic convention must submit their proposal by June 6 at 5 p.m.
But the list of 15 doesn’t prevent other cities from trying to win the convention, according to a Democrat familiar with the rules.
In a letter to mayors of those cities, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said many of the requirements are logistical and administrative – but acknowledged politics will play a part in the selection. “We do seek a city that shares our values of equality, inclusion, diversity, respect and dignity,” she wrote.
She also acknowledged that the winning city will have “strong relationships with organized labor and those they represent.” Charlotte, N.C., which hosted the 2012 Democratic National Convention, provoked ire from labor groups because North Carolina is a right-to-work state.
Columbus has already made its interest well-known, hosting a reception for Democrats gathered in Washington in February during a DNC meeting.
The political convention is the gathering where a political party formally nominates its presidential nominee. Columbus has never hosted a major party political convention, and Ohio hasn’t hosted a convention of either party since 1936, when the Republicans swarmed Public Auditorium in Cleveland to nominate Alf Landon as their nominee.
The invitation came weeks after Columbus was eliminated from a list of cities in the running to host the 2016 Republican National Committee. Cincinnati and Cleveland are both finalists to host, as are Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas and Kansas City.