DNC visits Philadelphia as decision on 2016 convention nears

WASHINGTON (AP) — A delegation from the Democratic National Committee is visiting Philadelphia today as it nears a decision on which city should host its 2016 convention.

By Hope Yen / Associated Press

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and a small team were due to arrive later in the morning. They are expected to be greeted by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, two of the city’s biggest convention boosters, according to a person familiar with Philadelphia’s convention bid. The person gave details of the itinerary to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the visit was closed to the press.

DNC spokeswoman Lily Adams confirmed Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s visit to Philadelphia, where she will also attend House Democrats’ policy retreat, which runs today through Friday. Ms. Adams declined to release details of the trip.

Mr. Nutter was expected to help lead a tour of the city’s convention venues and historical highlights, such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, to remind DNC officials why Philadelphia is the best choice in terms of logistics, hotel rooms, security and convention space, according to the person familiar with the plans.

Philadelphia boosters have emphasized their convention experience and space with the Wells Fargo Center and the recently expanded Philadelphia Convention Center. The city hosted the Republican National Convention in 2000. Officials say they’ll be able to handle the $55 million to $60 million price tag.

Columbus, Ohio, and New York City’s Brooklyn borough are also in the running to host the 2016 convention, which brings national media attention and up to $200 million for the local economy. The DNC’s decision is expected in early February.

Ms. Wasserman Schultz visited Columbus on Monday and will be in New York City on Friday.

The Democratic convention is scheduled to be held the week of July 25, 2016.