Democrats to hold 2012 convention in Charlotte, North Carolina

Alex Brown Contributor
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Democrats announced Tuesday that they will hold their party’s 2012 National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. during the week of Sept. 3. President Obama was the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry North Carolina since Jimmy Carter in 1976, but his success in the South was offset in the 2010 elections, which saw Republicans win control of 93 of the region’s 130 congressional seats.

“This will be a different convention, for a different time,” First Lady Michelle Obama said in an e-mail to supporters. The e-mail labeled the event The People’s Convention and emphasized its grassroots nature, pledging to finance it differently in the past.

“Charlotte is a city marked by its southern charm, warm hospitality, and an ‘up by the bootstraps’ mentality that has propelled the city forward as one of the fastest-growing in the South,” she said. “Vibrant, diverse and full of opportunity, the Queen City is home to innovative, hardworking folks with big hearts and open minds. And of course, great barbecue.”

Charlotte beat out finalists Cleveland, Minneapolis and St. Louis for the convention. A week before Obama, who faces no serious primary threat, officially receives the Democratic nomination, Republicans will determine their challenger during their convention in Tampa, Fla., another battleground state.

Officials in North Carolina expect to welcome between 30,000 to 35,000 delegates, media members and politicians.

“Today’s decision is fantastic news for North Carolina regardless of your political party,” Gov. Bev Perdue said in an official statement. “A national political convention is a keystone event that will boost North Carolina’s economy, while showcasing Charlotte and our state to the nation and the world.”

An e-mail statement by DNC Chairman Tim Kaine addressed doubts that Vice President Joe Biden would be replaced on the ticket, stating that the Democrats looked forward to propelling both Obama and Biden to a second term in office.