TAMPA — Tampa is one of dozens of U.S. cities that have been invited to submit bids to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, according to a high-ranking Florida Democratic official.
Alan Clendenin, first vice chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, confirmed that Tampa got a letter from Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz inquiring whether officials are interested in hosting the 2016 convention.
The only other Florida city to get such a letter was Miami.
Dozens of other cities around the country also got letters from Wasserman Schultz, a U.S. representative from Broward County.
Clendenin said an early favorite to host the convention is Columbus, Ohio. When the Democrats met in New Orleans in November, a contingent from Columbus put on a strong presentation to impress party leaders with the Ohio capital city’s capacity for hosting the convention.
“They really came out of the gate strong,” Clendenin said.
At least two cities — Portland, Ore., and St. Louis — already have turned down the recent invitation, in part because of the local financial commitment required, according to reports in the Oregonian and Post-Dispatch newspapers.
Tampa was the host city for the 2012 Republican National Convention. Reviews on the experience were mixed.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn and some business leaders called the event a success and a major financial benefit for hotels and restaurants and the city’s image.
Others, including downtown businesses, complained about an intimidating security presence, including armed National Guard troops on street corners.
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