Convention Focus Shifts From Cleveland To Columbus

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UPDATED: Tuesday July 8, 2014 6:34 PM

After news that Republicans had chosen Cleveland as the city to host their national convention in 2016, local businesses are hoping Democrats will pick Columbus later this year.

Kadie Koeneman is a recent graduate of the Ohio State University and assistant manager of a flower store in the Short North.  She says the tens of thousands of convention goers would be good for central Ohio - and Columbus is a natural pick.

"It will be exciting with a lot of energy in Columbus," said Koeneman.  "I like to think of Columbus as a very welcoming city, and we do have a lot of diversity with the campus nearby and different people.  It's very diverse."

The importance of carrying this state isn't lost on this young business professional either.

"I know Ohio is an important state - so it's exciting," said Koeneman.

The focus shifted on Tuesday to Columbus after Republicans announced earlier they are headed to Cleveland.

"It does give us the opportunity to go to a part of the state where maybe some folks have a different opinion of what the Republican Party is all about and show them the Republican party and draw them to our cause and message," said Matt Borges, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.

And it's for that very reason why Columbus officials are now optimistic that Democrats must come here.

"With the RNC choosing Cleveland that does help elevate Ohio and quite honestly there may be some type of competitive juices between the DNC and RNC which may help us in the end," said Brian Ross, CEO of Experience Columbus.

Democrats are expected to name their convention center later this fall.

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