State Chair says Columbus odds "pretty good"

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CLEVELAND -- State Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern thinks the odds of Ohio making a bit of political convention history in 2016 are "pretty good."

That's how he sees Columbus's chances of landing the Democratic National Convention.

If that happens, it would be the first time Democratic and Political Conventions were held in different cities in the same state.

RELATED: RNC site committee recommends Cleveland for 2016 convention

The conventions have been in the same city five times since 1900. The most recent case was Miami Beach in 1972.

Columbus mayor and chief cheerleader Michael Coleman is telling the party it risks conceding the important swing state of Ohio to Republicans, holding their convention up I-71 in Cleveland,if it passes on Columbus.

Ohio's swing state importance is well-documented. Ohio has voted for the winning Presidential candidate every election dating back to 1964.

And it's a well-known political bromide, "No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio."

Redfern says, "I am looking for the election to be all Ohio in 2016...They don't say "as goes Arizona, so goes the nation."

Columbus is in the running along with New York City (Brooklyn), Birmingham, Phoenix and Philadelphia.

Redfern believes the short list is Columbus, Philadelphia and Phoenix.

Columbus boosters hope they will get support from prospective nominee Hillary Clinton and possibly first husband Bill Clinton.

Redfern believes the stakes in Ohio are higher for Republicans.

"If they don't win in 2016, they will cease to be a relevant national political party," he said.

Redfern wishes the Democrats had had an opportunity to consider Cleveland before Republicans made their pick.

He says Republicans will be meeting in a city where lots of downtown development and progress has happened on the watch of Democratic Mayor Frank Jackson and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald.

He plans to be in Cleveland during the Republican convention, at media events, responding to messages and claims made by Republicans from the convention floor.

Some ask if both Columbus and Cleveland can raise enough money to hold conventions,asking if the statewide business community could become tapped out.

Governor Kasich has pledged $10 million through JobsOhio for each convention if both wind up in the state.

Democrats will visit Columbus the first week in August.

They've said they will pick their convention site by the end of this year or in early 2015.

Follow WKYC's Tom Beres on Twitter: @TomBeres

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