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Chicago to host 2024 Democratic National Convention

Capitol News Illinois

City beat out Atlanta and New York after receiving support from Democratic Midwest governors

The Democratic National Committee announced this week that Chicago will host the party’s 2024 presidential nominating convention.

The city beat out Atlanta and New York for the four-day convention next August after Democratic leaders in the Midwest pushed for it to be the site. It will be hosted at the city’s United Center and McCormick Place.

A news release announcing the choice noted Chicago is “an ideal backdrop” to host the nominating convention for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. It will also highlight the importance of the Midwest as “a key voting bloc in the 2024 election,” the release noted.

“Chicago is a great choice to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention,” Biden said in the news release. “Democrats will gather to showcase our historic progress including building an economy from the middle out and bottom up, not from the top down. From repairing our roads and bridges, to unleashing a manufacturing boom, and creating over 12.5 million new good-paying jobs, we’ve already delivered so much for hard working Americans – now it’s time to finish the job.”

Gov. JB Pritzker was a leading force behind the push to bring the convention to Chicago, as was outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Last week, after a meeting with Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson, Pritzker said his administration has worked to relay to the DNC that “the best convention that anyone could have would be here in the city of Chicago.”

He emphasized Chicago and Illinois’ status as a pro-choice state that’s “stood up for labor rights and workers” and taken action to ban assault weapons.

“And that’s not true of some of the other competitors states,” he said.

He made similar points at a news conference in Chicago Wednesday afternoon.

“Now after all, Chicago and the entire Midwest looks like America, and is the capital at the heart of the nation,” Pritzker said. “Illinois is home to a bustling metropolis, a strong rural tradition, thriving suburbs, not to mention a longstanding history rooted in civil rights, and workers rights, and reproductive rights.”

The convention is scheduled for August 19-22 next year. It is expected to bring tens of thousands of visitors to Chicago. The city last held the convention in 1996.

“This region was critical to President Biden and vice-president Harris's 2020 victory,” DNC Chair Jaime Harrison said at a news conference Wednesday. “We won big here in 2020 and it will be a part of how we win big again in 2024. This region will also give us the opportunity to showcase the Biden-Harris economic agenda that is unleashing a manufacturing boom, strengthening U.S. supply chains, creating good paying union jobs and expanding economic opportunities.”

The Republican Party will host their presidential nominating convention in July, roughly 90 miles north of Chicago in Milwaukee.

Also on Tuesday, GOP Congressman Darin LaHood, of Dunlap, announced that presumed presidential hopeful and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will be the keynote speaker at the 2023 Lincoln Day Dinner. The event hosted by the Peoria and Tazewell County Republican Central Committees will take place on Friday, May 12.

“Gov. Ron DeSantis is one of the preeminent conservative voices in our country, fighting back against the radical left,” LaHood said in a statement. “As Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis has enabled his state to thrive because he leads with fiscal responsibility, family values, and Constitutional principles. I am honored to welcome him to this year’s Peoria-Tazewell Lincoln Day Dinner and look forward to hearing him share his Florida Blueprint with Central Illinois conservatives.”

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide, as well as hundreds of radio and TV stations. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Jerry Nowicki is bureau chief of Capitol News Illinois and has been with the organization since its inception in 2019.