MILWAUKEE - Could Milwaukee get another chance to host the Democratic National Convention in 2024?
FOX6 News discussed with new Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison one-on-one.
The COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the 2020 convention became mostly virtual. The estimated 50,000 people -- and their estimated $200 million -- stayed home.
"Given the circumstances of what happened in Wisconsin, we’ll definitely keep that in consideration when we’re making that decision," Harrison said.
Does that mean the committee would favor allowing Milwaukee to have a rain check and shot the 2024 convention?
"I was part of the site visit team the last convention cycle, and so I got the chance to spend a lot of time in Milwaukee, looking at your facilities," said Harrison. "I was heartbroken that we weren’t able to come and enjoy the great state of Wisconsin with all of the Democrats across the country.
"We will be examining our convention site -- location and all -- in the coming months. We haven’t made up a decision yet. We’ll probably have a site convention visit team, again. Wisconsin, we understand the heartbreak from that, and we’ll keep that in consideration when we chose the site of the 2024 convention."
U.S. Senate candidate Alex Lasry, a Milwaukee Bucks executive, led the city's bid to win the 2020 convention.
"This is still very early in the big process," Lasry said. " I mean we still don’t know what conventions will look like in a couple years, let alone if people are going to be gathering like 50,000 people...It would be great. We deserve it and we’ve already proven that Milwaukee can handle it.
"We want to be able to show the world what Milwaukee and Wisconsin is all about. And I think what we proved in getting the bid last time was that Milwaukee can compete with cities like Houston and Miami. And I hope that in 2024, we can show the world what Milwaukee and Wisconsin look like."
2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC)
The 2020 DNC broadcast control room stayed in Milwaukee, yet President Joe Biden accepted his party's nomination in Delaware.
Republicans still hammer Democrats about the move.
"Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. The DNC Democrats let Milwaukee down and then had really a convention out in Delaware, further letting Milwaukeeans and Wisconsinites down, so I think they have to make up for it this cycle," said Andrew Hitt, Republican Party of Wisconsin chairman.
During the 2020 convention, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he'd leave the lights on for either Democrats or Republicans in 2024.
"We’re so grateful for the support that we’ve gotten from Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin," Harrison said. "Again, we’ll keep all of that in mind as we look at 2024."
Final decisions can be expected in the spring of 2023.
Focus on 2022 midterm elections
Before any decision on the 2024 convention, a fierce 2022 is expected.
"Wisconsin’s going to be top of my priority list, not only in this cycle but in cycles to come," Harrison said.
The Democratic National Committee is already up with ads and billboards promoting the American Rescue Plan Act
"In Wisconsin alone, $6.5 billion was sent to Wisconsin through the American Rescue Plan, which includes state fiscal relief, local relief, and for our schools in the state of Wisconsin," Harrison said.
Jaime Harrison, Democratic National Committee chair
Harrison added 89% of all Wisconsin adults received a $1,400 stimulus check.
"That’s significant, and I can tell you that’s going to have a really meaningful and has already had a meaningful impact on the lives of people working hard each and every day," said Harrison. "I don’t want (Republicans) to take any credit, because they didn’t do anything to earn that credit.
"It was democrats who listened to the American people, it was Democrats who voted for the legislation, it was Democrats who actually got the money into the pockets of the people of Wisconsin, and so I hope folks will keep that in mind as they move forward and think about their choices in 2022."
Republicans said they are focusing on their ground game as they fight to win.
"It’s hard to compete against free money, but Wisconsinites, in particular, are very pragmatic. They understand that there isn’t a thing as free money. And those things need to be paid for eventually," said Hitt. "We need to make sure we’re helping people during this pandemic, but, there was a lot of extra, a lot of bloated spending in those recovery bills."
It will be a debate for Wisconsin as it gets ready to elect a governor and a U.S. senator in 2022.