Democratic Committee Visits Philadelphia as Decision on 2016 Convention Nears

A delegation from the Democratic National Committee visited Philadelphia on Wednesday as it nears a decision on which city should host its 2016 convention.

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and a small team arrived in the City of Brotherly Love and were greeted by Mayor Michael Nutter, who later led a tour of the city's convention venues and historical highlights, such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, 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.

The city's goal was to remind DNC officials why it believes Philadelphia is the best choice in terms of logistics, hotel rooms, security and convention space, according to the person familiar with the plans.

DNC spokeswoman Lily Adams confirmed Wasserman Schultz's visit to Philadelphia, where she was also attending House Democrats' policy retreat, which runs Wednesday to Friday. Adams declined to release details of the trip. A spokeswoman for Nutter also declined to comment, saying the Philadelphia mayor was excited to be hosting Democrats as part of the House Democratic retreat.

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.

Wasserman Schultz visited Columbus, Ohio, 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.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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