Denver mayor wants to stage Democratic presidential convention |

Denver mayor wants to stage Democratic presidential convention

DENVER ” A century after it was the site for the Democratic Party’s presidential convention, Mayor John Hickenlooper wants to invite them back.

Denver became one of the first cities to officially accept an invitation to bid for the 2008 convention when Hickenlooper sent a letter to the Democratic National Committee, The Denver Post reported Saturday.

The Post said Denver was one of three finalists for the 2000 convention. In 2004, but then-Mayor Wellington Webb pulled Denver out of contention because of security concerns.

“One hundred years ago – in 1908 – the nation looked to Denver as Democrats nominated one of America’s greatest orators, William Jennings Bryan,” the official letter of intent reads. “It would be a great honor – and an historic event – for Denver to host the Democratic National Convention again a century later.”

New national interest in Colorado as political battleground and regional interest in a Western-states primary has local officials enthused.

“There has been a lot of talk about this Western states primary, so if we take more of a regional approach we really think it will be a strong application,” said City Councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth, who is co-chairwoman of a committee in charge of courting the Democrats. “I’m excited.”

Orlando, Fla., is the only other city that has gone public so far as a possible venue. The Democratic National Committee would not release a list of cities that are being considered.

“I think Denver is in a really great position,” said Dan Slater, vice-chairman of the state Democratic party, and a member of the committee working on Denver’s bid.

“Generally, it is a win-win proposition for the city,” he said. “Some people might think of it as a hassle, but for the most part, the kind of exposure that the city gets … is exactly what we want for the convention community and for the tourism community.”

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