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DNC Passes Over Houston For 2020 Convention, Picking Milwaukee

Houston's skyline
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune
Houston's skyline

Democratic National Committee officials announced Monday that the party's 2020 convention would take place in Milwaukee.

The announcement is a setback for Houston, which was a final contender to host the convention. Miami was also on the short list.

Houston Democratic insiders who were pushing for the convention have said the city's convention center and hotel space were indisputable strengths. But ultimately, the selection of Milwaukee was the decision of one person: DNC Chairman Tom Perez.

It also is an indicator of a Democratic party that is attempting to take back a state it lost in the 2016 presidential campaign.

President Donald Trump carried Wisconsin in 2016, but former President Barack Obama won it in 2012. Democrats were pleasantly surprised when the party made gains in Texas in 2016 and made significant party-building progress in the 2018 midterms. The would-be Houston convention was perceived as a way to show the party is staking its claim on Texas, which a Democratic presidential candidate hasn't won in decades.

"This choice is a statement of our values, and I'm thrilled Milwaukee will host the 2020 Democratic National Convention," Perez said in a statement. "The Democratic Party is the party of working people, and Milwaukee is a city of working people."

The Harris County Democratic Party released a statement Monday morning congratulating Milwaukee Democrats and expressing disappointment at getting passed over.

"We’d like to thank everyone who worked so hard to showcase the unparalleled diversity and culture of our hometown," the statement read. "Texas is a battleground state and our 38 electoral votes will change the roadmap to winning the White House."

The Milwaukee convention will take place from July 13-16, 2020. The Republican National Committee released its dates and location last year. Republicans will meet from Aug. 24-27, 2020, in Charlotte, North Carolina.