Democrats eye Phoenix, 14 other cities for 2016 convention

WASHINGTON - The Democratic Party has asked 15 mayors to submit formal bids to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, an event that could cost a city as much as $60 million but the payout could be triple the investment or more.

The Democratic National Committee's official request for proposal or "RFP" was sent to cities late Monday and they are required to submit their bids to host the convention by June 6.

Cities that received the DNC's "RFP" include: Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus (Ohio), Detroit, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City.

The DNC will choose its 2016 host city by the close of 2014 or beginning of 2015 and Democrats are expected to hold the convention, where the party will officially choose its presidential nominee, in late summer 2016.

In a letter accompanying the RFP, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz noted that Democrats, in addition to logistical requirements, will consider a city's relationship with a key political constituency, labor, as well as a city's approach and handling of certain issues.

"While many of the requirements are specific to the various logistical and administrative goals of putting on the Democratic National Convention, we do seek a city that shares our values of equality, inclusion, diversity, respect and dignity," said Wasserman Schultz, who also serves as a congresswoman from Florida. "And because of the significant security and construction related issues that we will face, we also look for a city with strong relationships with organized labor and those they represent. Our priority is to work with a community that will partner with us as we plan this historic event."

Some cities, such as Columbus, have been lobbying hard to be chosen to host the 2016 Democratic convention. At a DNC meeting in February, Columbus officials hosted a reception highlighting reasons why the city should be the site for the Democratic National Convention. While 15 cities received RFPs on Monday, a DNC official noted that other cities could request an RFP and be considered as a host city.

Earlier this month, Republicans narrowed their list of potential host cities to six: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City and Las Vegas. The Republican National Committee is likely to hold its nominating contest in early-mid summer 2016.

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