Democratic 2024 convention site team visits Chicago next week; Republicans poised to pick Milwaukee

Republicans love to bash Chicago. But when it comes to picking a city to host its summer meeting, the Republican National Committee selected Chicago.

SHARE Democratic 2024 convention site team visits Chicago next week; Republicans poised to pick Milwaukee
Construction underway for the Democratic National Convention at the United Center in Chicago on Monday, July 29, 1996.

Chicago is in the running to host the 2024 Democratic convention. This 1996 photo shows construction underway for the Democratic National Convention at the United Center.

Charles Bennett/AP file photo

WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee 2024 presidential convention site selection team visits Chicago next week, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned, with the Republicans poised to pick Milwaukee to host their convention next summer.

Chicago is one of four cities competing for the convention. The DNC site team — called the Technical Advisory Group — visited Houston last week and will be in New York City on Thursday and Friday. The team hits Chicago for tours of the United Center and other proposed venues on July 26-27, before moving on to Atlanta.

In June, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot came to D.C. to personally pitch DNC officials on a day when representatives from all four cities made presentations.

The United Center was the home of the 1996 Democratic National Convention where then-President Bill Clinton was nominated to run for his second term.

The site visit to Chicago is expected to show off the main tourist attractions — the lakefront and beaches, museums as well as venues - from the United Center to the Wintrust Arena, which could be used for related events.

The group will also be interested in the potential hotels to serve as headquarters for President Joe Biden and his White House team and for DNC officials and donors.

Pritzker is planning on hosting a dinner for the DNC group. There will be a Tuesday reception hosted by “The Chicago DNC Bid Team,” according to the invitation obtained by the Sun-Times, at the OffShore Restaurant, with its stunning views from Navy Pier. “Let’s show the DNC why Chicago is the best choice to host the Convention in 2024!,” the invite said.

A DNC official said the Technical Advisory Group comprises people who are “convention veterans, including experts in security, logistics, housing, production and communications who have made our conventions successful in the past, as well as a small number of DNC staff.”

The DNC site group may make additional visits. The next step is likely to take place when the DNC meets Sept. 8-10 at National Harbor, a Maryland suburb outside of Washington. Chicago and the other cities will likely use that meeting to throw receptions as part of a heavily lobbying drive for the convention. A decision is expected sometime after September.


Irony alert.

Republicans love to bash Chicago.

But when it comes to picking a great city to host a major meeting — well, the Republican National Committee is coming to Chicago for its summer meeting.

Last Friday, the RNC site selection committee voted to recommend Milwaukee to host its 2024 convention. Democrats picked the Wisconsin city to host its 2020 convention, with most of the live event canceled and held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full RNC will vote on the host city at its 2022 RNC Summer Meeting, to be held Aug, 2-5, at the JW Marriott Chicago, 151 W. Adams St.

The RNC site selection meeting will be Aug. 3.

The RNC ended up not having much of a choice. Nashville was the main competition to Milwaukee — but its City Council never voted to support the event.

Former RNC chair Reince Priebus — who is from Wisconsin — said in a tweet, “I have always known that Milwaukee is the perfect place for the Republican Party to hold its convention. Wisconsin is a battleground state, Milwaukee is a fabulous city and the people of Wisconsin are the best in America.”

“...We will have a blast — it will be a great way to work together so that the Republican Party and our great country can begin the process of electing a President of the United States,” Priebus said.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, hits Chicago on Sunday to headline a fundraiser to benefit four House candidates running from swing districts in Illinois. An invite to the funder calls it a “Chicago Battleground Event.”

The proceeds will help the reelection of Reps. Lauren Underwood and Bill Foster, considered Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee “frontliners” — because of the swing nature of their suburban Chicago districts.

The funder will also benefit two Democrats running for open seats outside of the Chicago area — Eric Sorensen, once the chief meteorologist at WREX in Rockford, and Nikki Budzinski, a former senior adviser on labor issues for Pritzker and ex-chief of staff for the Biden White House Office of Management and Budget.

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