VIDEOS: DNC leader keeps opinion of Columbus to herself

By MARC KOVAC @ohiocapitalblog mkovac@dixcom.com Published:

COLUMBUS -- Amy Dacey really liked the ice cream.

But the head of the Democratic National Committee kept most other opinions of Ohio's capital city to herself Thursday afternoon after finishing a two-day visit as part of the site selection process for the party's 2016 convention.

Columbus is one of five cities being considered for the convention (the others are Philadelphia; Phoenix; Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Birmingham, Ala.).

The DNC delegation kicked off its Columbus tour Wednesday with a rally outside a downtown sports arena. Members then visited different sites and met with local leaders, capping their first day with a fireworks display.

"We met with labor, we met with business, we met with the progressive community and we met with public officials," she said. "They're all working together, I know, to make Columbus the best city it can be."

The stop was part of the party's evaluation process that includes trips to each of the five cities still under consideration for the Democratic convention. The others are Birmingham, Ala.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; and New York City's Brooklyn.

All of the cities being considered met the financial, logistical and other criteria required to play host to the national convention, Dacey said. She wouldn't say where Columbus ranked on those criteria in comparison to other potential sites.

"It's too early in the process really to comment on that," she said. "We're looking at five cities. This has been only the second city. We have a lot more to do."

The 2016 convention likely will take place in July or August of that year. A final decision on a site is expected later this year or early next.

Ohio has gone with the winning presidential candidate in every election after John F. Kennedy reached the White House without carrying Ohio in 1960; no Republican has ever taken the White House without the state.

Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman said the Ohio capital has the facilities, abilities and politics to host the Democratic Party's presidential convention.

Republicans have already picked Cleveland for their 2016 convention.

"We are able to help deliver Ohio," he said. "I think Democrats could still win Ohio without being in Columbus. However, it certainly does help when they have a convention of this size in the state of Ohio in the city of Columbus."

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