MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee is vying for both national political conventions in 2024. The mayor’s office officially put the city in the running for the Democratic National Convention (DNC) this week, and also expressed interest to the Republicans for a potential Republican National Convention (RNC) in Milwaukee.
In August, the Democratic National Committee asked the city to consider officially applying to host the 2024 convention by Oct. 1. This week Mayor Tom Barrett’s office officially put in a request to be considered. A formal bid would come later.
At the same time, the mayor’s office says the Republican National Committee also reached out and asked if Milwaukee would like to be considered for its 2024 convention. Barrett’s office said yes, beginning that process as well.
Mayor Barrett was asked about the bid for the 2024 DNC Tuesday. "If we put together anything close to the proposal we put together for 2020, I think that we are going to be right there among the lead horses," he said.
In the past, Barrett has said he would welcome a convention and the approximately $200 million in economic impact that comes with it from either party.
Marquette University School of Law’s Charles Franklin, who directs the most watched political polls in the state, says with such tight recent elections, Wisconsin would be a good pick for either party. “I think what we have going for us is four of the last six presidential races were decided by less than a percentage point," said Franklin.
Before either side likely makes a decision, there will be a political litmus test of voters in the state. Wisconsin will hold a Senate and Gubernatorial election in 2022. “Should Ron Johnson win re-election, should a Republican win the governorship, then that sets Wisconsin up to be the comeback kid for Republicans,” says Franklin.
There is also a concern about funding. In 2020, several large donors put up money for a convention that never happened on the scale the was proposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Franklin says “to go back to donors and again, try to raise the kind of money to put on the convention, might be a little bit of a strain on our resources.”
While Milwaukee is officially in the running for the DNC, the Republicans will hold a meeting in Washington, D.C. next month to discuss convention options. It is likely a representative from Milwaukee will attend.
Milwaukee is one of more than 20 cities that have been invited to apply to host the DNC's 2024 convention. It’s believed the two other finalists for 2020, Miami and Houston, were also asked to submit a bid if they are interested.
I have formally responded to the Democratic National Committee’s invitation to compete to host its 2024 national convention. Milwaukee was ready to put on a great event for the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and, we are set to do it again. pic.twitter.com/8Q0LRkScXE— Mayor Tom Barrett (@MayorOfMKE) September 28, 2021