Chicago makes pitch to host DNC as Trump calls city a 'warzone'
CHICAGO - Portraying it as a potential boost for the city's struggling hospitality industry, politicians urged Chicagoans Tuesday to support a bid to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention.
"Hosting the DNC in Chicago in 2024 will bring thousands of good-paying, labor-friendly jobs to our city and to our state," Gov. JB Pritzker said.
Chicago's competing with three other finalist cities who also hope to host the event.
Chicago has hosted more presidential nominating conventions than any other city, but only one, in 1996, since the conventions have become mostly made-for-TV infomercials. The Democrats' national chairman is looking for a host city that understands that.
"It's about putting on the best show possible on the ground, but also on television, painting the picture," said DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison.
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Wherever Democrats convene, Republicans such as former President Donald Trump will be offering a counter-narrative. The finalist cities include Houston and Atlanta, as well as New York and Chicago — two towns Trump just today denounced as "warzones."
"Many of our once-great cities from New York to Chicago to LA … literal warzones! Every day there are stabbings, rapes, murders and violent assaults of every kind imaginable," Trump said during a speech in DC.
Chicago boosters a plan for a presidential nominating convention that would showcase the city's attractions, including its summertime beauty and entertainment — and not just downtown.
"Not only is the convention going to be good for Chicago. But Chicago is good for the convention," said Rep. Danny Davis.
As they seek the convention, local Democrats are divided over who will chair their party. Cicero's State Rep. Lisa Hernandez hopes to unseat incumbent chair Congresswoman Robin Kelly this Saturday, telling FOX 32 Chicago Monday night that Kelly has failed in fundraising, voter registration and other party functions.
"Of course she's saying that. She's running. But no, that's not true. We have it together. We're doing a great job," Kelly said.
Officials did their best to focus on selling Chicago's multi-billion dollar hospitality industry, traditionally the city's biggest employer.
"I think we're all up for it," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. "I think I said earlier that we're ready for our closeup. This is a great global city. We're ready to show all the proof points that support Biden and Harris."
Republicans appear ready to book their 2024 convention in Milwaukee. Democrats are expected to make their decision by early 2023.