Columbus Leaders Pushing Democrats To Consider City For National Convention

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UPDATED: Thursday February 27, 2014 5:47 PM

Just one day after Experience Columbus submitted a 137 page bid to the Republican National Committee to host their 2016 convention, officials headed to Washington, DC, to make a similar push with Democrats.

"We're in the process of understanding what the Democrats needs are, they are similar but different than the Republicans," said Brian Ross, CEO of Experience Columbus.  "We're definitely looking at this as economic development.  Not as much as Republicans or Democrats but what benefits Columbus."

Columbus is hosting a cocktail party for members of the Democratic National Committee in Washington tonight.

Mayor Michael Coleman is headlining the event - also attending congresswoman Joyce Beatty, former Gov. Ted Strickland and Sen. Sherrod Brown.

"I think Ohio has a real chance, every four years we're the center of the universe," Brown told 10TVs Jim Heath.  "Each party knows it will give them a bit of a boost if they hold a convention here."

Brown says Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati all have their strengths, but central Ohio may have an edge.

"Columbus is the fastest growing of the three cities and it's been out there first," said Brown.  "We have to prove to them that we have the right facility, we have to prove we have adequate hotel space and a city that is competently governed, as mayor Coleman has done."

Ross says the city has guaranteed 16,000 first class hotel rooms for the convention.

Nationwide arena would be the host of the event, while the convention center would be home to thousands of journalists.

10TV has learned that Columbus has made both parties aware that the 'Shoe at The Ohio State University could potentially be used for the nominees acceptance speech.

Brown says Ohio cities are making an impressive run at landing the conventions.

"I don't think it's out of the question that say the Republican convention comes to Columbus and a month or two later the Democratic convention goes to Cleveland," said Brown.  "I don't think it's at all out of the question that we get both.  I'd be very happy with one, I'm not getting greedy here, but it would be pretty cool."

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