(Reuters) – The Democratic Party on Monday picked Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to host the 2020 nominating convention to formally select its candidate for U.S. president, four years after Hillary Clinton narrowly lost the Midwestern state to Republican Donald Trump.
Clinton, who did not campaign in Wisconsin during the 2016 general election campaign, also lost the states of Michigan and Pennsylvania by narrow margins, helping give Trump the path to victory.
The Democratic National Convention will run July 13-16, the first time the party will hold it in a Midwestern city other than Chicago in over a century, the party said in a statement. The party had also considered Miami and Houston as host cities.
While presidential nominees from both major U.S. parties often had enough delegates well before their conventions in recent election cycles, the events play an important role by providing a televised national forum to showcase their message and highlight up-and-coming political personalities.
More than a dozen Democrats have announced that they are seeking the nomination in the state-by-state voting contests that kick off in Iowa in February 2020. The unusually crowded and diverse field includes five women serving in the U.S. Senate and the party’s first openly gay candidate.
Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist and U.S. senator who rose to national prominence when he ran in 2016, and Joe Biden, a former U.S. vice president who has not formally declared but is expected to run, have emerged as front-runners in recent opinion polls.
The Republican National Convention will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, more than a month later, Aug. 24-27.
Democrats had won Wisconsin in presidential elections going back to the 1980s until Clinton narrowly lost the state.
Some Republicans ridiculed the choice: “Four years too late, Democrats go to Wisconsin,” Kellyanne Conway, one of Trump’s senior advisers, wrote on Twitter.
The party did well in Wisconsin in 2018 elections. Democrat Tony Evers was elected governor, replacing Republican Scott Walker.
“The Democratic Party is the party of working people, and Milwaukee is a city of working people,” said Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez. “We saw in this last election what we can accomplish when we come together.”
Milwaukee is known as a U.S. historical center of beer brewing and remains home to manufacturers including Harley-Davidson Inc, the iconic motorcycle brand.
Trump is seeking a second term in the election on Nov. 3, 2020.
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Scott Malone, Jeffrey Benkoe and Cynthia Osterman)