By Benjamin Yount
The Democrats are coming to Wisconsin. And both political parties in the state are thrilled.
The Democratic National Committee on Monday announced that Milwaukee will host the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
“Milwaukee is a vibrant working-class city that represents so much of what makes our nation great,” Martha Laning, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said. “This will be a once-in-a-lifetime economic opportunity for Milwaukee and its citizens.”
Milwaukee beat out Miami and Houston.
Planners say Milwaukee’s weather – nice mild summers – is one of the reasons that Democrats chose the city.
But the nod to host is also a realization that Wisconsin will be a battleground state in the 2020 presidential election. Hillary Clinton lost Wisconsin by nearly 23,000 votes. She never personally visited the state. The election in 2016 was the first time a Republican presidential candidate won Wisconsin in nearly three decades.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez isn’t being subtle about why the party chose Milwaukee.
“This choice is a statement of our values,” Perez said in a statement. “The Democratic Party is the party of working people, and Milwaukee is a city of working people.”
But Republicans in Wisconsin say it’s really Milwaukee’s socialist past that drew the Democrats to the city.
“No city in America has stronger ties to socialism than Milwaukee,” Republican Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Mark Jefferson said Monday. “With the rise of Bernie Sanders and the embrace of socialism by its newest leaders, the American left has come full circle. It’s only fitting the Democrats would come to Milwaukee.”
Jefferson said the socialist bent of the modern Democratic Party will be on full display in Wisconsin.
“The people of Wisconsin are far more practical than today’s socialist-embracing Democratic Party gives them credit for,” Jefferson said, adding that Democrats will “show the state up close why this bunch should never be trusted to run the country.”
But that doesn’t mean Republicans in Wisconsin are unhappy that the convention is coming to town.
“We’ll get to reap the economic benefits of a convention,” Jefferson said.
Hotels in and around Milwaukee are expected to start to fill up soon, and city leaders in Milwaukee are already talking about the economic benefits.
The Democratic convention will run from July 13-16, 2020. It will be centered at Fiserv Forum.