National convention

City of Milwaukee officially submits bid to host Republican National Convention

The city of Milwaukee has officially filed its bid to host the Republican National Convention in 2024.

The 200+ page app highlights the city’s access to Lake Michigan, entertainment venues, festivals, the culinary scene, the Milwaukee Bucks Championship, Fiserv Forum and more.

The RNC isn’t the only political convention with its eyes on Milwaukee. The Democratic National Committee has invited Milwaukee to reapply for its 2024 convention.

The city hosted DNC 2020, but because of the pandemic, the event was largely virtual, robbing the city of hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenue. The 2024 DNC could be an overhaul, and the city said it plans to apply.

Both conventions would coincide with the opening of an expanded Wisconsin center, providing Milwaukee the opportunity to show off the new facility while attracting even greater revenue.

Peggy Williams-Smith, president and CEO of Visit Milwaukee, said Milwaukee will likely find out in the first quarter of 2022 if it’s one of three cities chosen to have the site visited by the Republican National Committee. At that time, Milwaukee will begin fundraising for the convention, Williams-Smith said, adding that there are a “million” reasons why Milwaukee should be chosen by the committee.

“We’re the city of festivals, we’re a great place on an amazing lake, we have an amazing hotel package, we have great places to host parties, and we all know a convention is full of parties,” Williams- said Smith.

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Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat, said he would be as keen to back the RNC as he was backing the DNC.

In his letter to the committee, Barrett called Wisconsin a “purple state” that reflects the nation and will be an important player in determining the country’s political future. He also touted the previous work done to prepare for DNC 2020.

“Milwaukee knows well the work it takes to prepare for a national political convention,” Barrett said. “Our robust business and strong host communities are ready with facilities and hotel accommodations to fully support the needs of the convention.”

It’s likely that Barrett would no longer be mayor if either convention chooses the city. He is awaiting confirmation to become ambassador to Luxembourg.

Barrett is set for a major committee vote by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday for his nomination. If approved, a full vote could be taken by the US Senate by the end of the year.

So far, seven people have filed paperwork with the Milwaukee Election Commission to run for Barrett’s seat.