Three Finalists for 2016 Dem Convention; NYC on List

WASHINGTON (AP) -

Democrats narrowed the list of contenders for their 2016 national convention to three cities on Monday, announcing the party’s next presidential candidate will be formally nominated in Brooklyn, Philadelphia or Columbus, Ohio, and eliminating Birmingham, Alabama, and Phoenix.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the host city is expected to be announced in early 2015.

The three remaining cities could offer an appealing backdrop for Hillary Rodham Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential contender.

Clinton represented New York in the Senate and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, was first nominated there in 1992. The couple lives in nearby Westchester County and Mayor Bill de Blasio has promoted the Brooklyn convention site as a popular option for the party’s liberal base.

But the Clintons also have deep ties to Philadelphia’s organizers, including Mayor Michael Nutter and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. The patriotic heritage as the home of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell could be a plus.

Columbus, meanwhile, would put Democrats in the center of the nation’s top presidential battleground state and offer an in-state rebuttal to Republicans, who are holding their convention in Cleveland.