By SCOTT BAUER – Associated Press
MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) — Republicans unanimously voted for Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Friday for the 2024 national convention, a victory for the city on the shores of Lake Michigan after the 2020 Democratic convention was disrupted by COVID-19. 19 pandemic.
The decision in favor of Milwaukee over Nashville, announced at the Republican National Committee’s summer meeting in Chicago, was an anti-climax after Nashville was essentially out of the running when the city council on Tuesday rejected a draft deal to host the event. That came after the Democratic opposition narrowed that city’s chances and the RNC’s location selection committee singled out Milwaukee last month.
Milwaukee Democratic Mayor Cavalier Johnson joined Reince Priebus, a former chief of staff to then-President Donald Trump, to praise the decision after it was announced in Chicago. Johnson thanked Priebus for his work in helping land the convention and said it is an example of duality that is much needed in the country.
Johnson referred to Milwaukee, known for the Brewers baseball team, the Bucks basketball team, brats and beer, as a city “full of unexpected gems.” He also made clear why he and so many other Democrats were eager to win the convention hosted by their political rivals.
“I want you to take all your money to Milwaukee, spend it that week, and leave it in Milwaukee,” Johnson said.
Priebus, who served as chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party before heading the RNC and then serving under Trump, said electing Milwaukee was politically important and would give Republicans a chance to spend more time in the state.
“It’s a battlefield, it matters,” Priebus said. “I know we debate it sometimes, but it matters.”
Wisconsin could determine who wins in 2024, while Tennessee has not supported a Democrat for president since 1996. But choosing Milwaukee is in line with recent Republican choices for the convention. For two decades, Republicans have placed their nominating convention in the swing states – North Carolina, Ohio and Florida.
Trump narrowly won Wisconsin in 2016, but lost by an almost identical margin to President Joe Biden in 2020.
Paul Farrow, chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, who was in Chicago for the RNC meeting, said the convention in Milwaukee “will give our base even more energy to realize that we are a very important hinge across the country. ” The Wisconsin winner has been elected president in the past four elections.
Milwaukee, a Democratic stronghold, was selected to host the 2020 Democratic National Committee convention, but that went almost entirely online due to the coronavirus pandemic. Biden accepted the nomination in Delaware, not Milwaukee. The city used preparations for that convention to argue to Republicans that it had a “turnkey” operation ready to actually host in 2024.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper and others expressed concerns about security, the economic trade-off of having to close much of the bustling downtown area except for convention activities, and the implications of pinning city resources to the event.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.