Columbus Mayor to Democrats: Have Convention Here or Lose

Image: Columbus Mayor to Democrats: Have Convention Here or Lose Mayor Michael Coleman, center, of Columbus, Ohio. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 11:55 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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The mayor of Columbus, Ohio, has warned that Democrats could lose the battleground state and the presidential election to the GOP unless his city is awarded the party’s convention in 2016.

Mayor Michael Coleman, a Democrat, told Politico that the Republicans’ decision to host their convention in Cleveland could result in the swing state voting for the GOP candidate and thus tip the scales to a Republican presidency.

"The Republican Party grabbing the convention in Cleveland has the potential of leaving this state to the Republican side in 2016," Coleman said. "The Republicans are going to be in Cleveland, and that’s going to unfortunately have an impact on Ohio that might influence this race."

Noting that President Barack Obama, his GOP rival Mitt Romney and their running mates visited Columbus dozens of times in 2012, he said, "The truth is that Ohio is going to be the determiner of who’s in the White House."

Coleman said that officials with the Democratic National Committee are likely to visit Columbus early next month as they weigh possible convention sites, which also include New York, Philadelphia, and Phoenix.

Politico noted that Coleman’s comments were a "self-serving pitch" because of the economic dividends reaped by cities holding political conventions.

But the political website’s Kyle Cheney wrote, "Given how central Ohio is to Democrats’ electoral strategy, his warning could carry some weight with party faithful."


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