JB Pritzker

Chicago Weighs Bid to Host 2024 Democratic National Convention

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

While it is still extremely early in the process, NBC News has learned that the city of Chicago is weighing a potential bid to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention, and that the bid has plenty of high-profile support from elected officials in the state of Illinois.

According to officials with the consulting group that is working with potential host cities for the convention, Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and Sen. Tammy Duckworth have all played key roles in beginning to coordinate on a potential bid for the convention, which will take place during the summer prior to the 2024 presidential election.

A source close to the process tells NBC 5 Political Reporter Mary Ann Ahern that Chicago and Las Vegas are considered to be among the top candidates for the convention.

"The transportation from the hotel rooms to the United Center was great in 1996," Democratic strategist Kitty Kurth says. "We have a lot of hotel rooms. No one gets stuck having to commute in from two hours away."

According to Tarrah Cooper Wright, communications strategist and CEO of Rise Strategy Group, Chicago’s size, hotel capacity and its status as a traditional Democratic stronghold are being cited as some of its biggest selling points.

“From previous Democratic Conventions to the NATO Summit and annual large-scale events like the Air & Water Show, Chicago has a track record of successfully hosting large-scale events, and has the leadership required to make a convention a success," she said. "Our city and state—a vibrant and diverse metropolis, thriving suburbs and strong rural communities—offer proof that our party’s policies deliver for American families, and a convention would provide a boost to the local economy."

Rep. Robin Kelly, the head of the state’s Democratic party, and Sen. Dick Durbin have also been involved in the planning, per NBC News.

Chicago has hosted the convention on numerous occasions, most recently in 1996 when former President Bill Clinton was nominated for his run at a second term. It also hosted the infamous 1968 convention, with Mayor Richard J. Daley ordering crackdowns on protesters that resulted in large-scale riots and police beating and clubbing protesters.

When asked about whether recent upticks in crime could deter DNC decisionmakers, Kurth says that per-capita rates indicate that Chicago has less crime than other major cities.

"Of course people will talk about it, but realistically I don't think it'll be a problem," she said.

A source told NBC 5 that DNC Chairman Jamie Harrison recently visited Chicago, and met with Pritzker.

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