Milwaukee Picked as Site of 2020 Democratic National Convention

Milwaukee Picked as Site of 2020 Democratic National Convention

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The Democratic National Committee has selected Milwaukee as the site of its national convention, placing a spotlight on a key Midwestern battleground state that Democrats lost for the first time in three decades in 2016 and see as central to the party’s efforts to reclaim the White House.

The convention will be held next year on July 13-16 in the newly built Fiserv Forum, a 17,500-seat arena that’s home to the N.B.A.’s Milwaukee Bucks.

Milwaukee was selected over a pair of larger Sunbelt cities, Houston and Miami, to host the event.

Milwaukee organizers raised more than $10 million and reassured officials that they had secured sufficient hotel capacity for the event, ameliorating concerns that the city lacked the finances and infrastructure to support an event that regularly draws tens of thousands of out-of-town activists, officials and media.

Wisconsin holds a searing place in the Democratic Party psyche after Hillary Clinton, the party’s last presidential nominee, opted not to campaign in the traditionally blue state during the general election — a decision that some blamed for her 22,000-vote defeat in the state.

Democrats won back the governorship of the state in 2018, assuaging some concerns that Wisconsin was drifting away. Still, some in the party are urging the 2020 candidates to broaden their focus beyond the upper Midwest to the rapidly growing Sun Belt states.

Democratic officials worried about the optics of hosting a convention in Houston, a city dominated by the oil and gas industry, at a time when Democratic activists are focused on combating climate change.

Houston had faced another complication. Harold Schaitberger, the head of the International Association of Fire Fighters, has been in a prolonged battle with the mayor, Sylvester Turner, over firefighter pay. In an interview last week, Mr. Schaitberger said he had warned the D.N.C. that he would consider establishing a union picket line if Democrats located their convention there.

“Tom Perez knows, for whatever it’s worth, that it’s not going to be pretty if they go to Houston,” Mr. Schaitberger said.

In recent days, the mayor of Houston has announced plans to lay off hundreds of firefighters in order to fund a voter-approved measure to increase firefighter pay in the city. Mr. Schaitberger accused him of “an old-fashioned double cross” and “just being a jerk.”

Republicans will hold their convention August 24–27, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C.

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