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Charlotte seeks 2012 Democratic convention

Charlotte officials are making a pitch to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention. A delegation of city, county and private officials last week formally notified the Democratic party of its intention to bid for the convention. "This is the largest media event in the free world, so to have that opportunity for exposure the world over for Charlotte as a great destination is something that is unparalleled," says Tim Newman, CEO of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx will lead the public lobbying effort while Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers will head a private fund-raising campaign. Newman estimates that $50 million dollars in public and private money is needed, but it's too early to say what the breakdown would be. He says the convention would generate millions more in economic benefits. The Democratic National Committee is expected to name the convention location this summer. Charlotte's overall competition for the convention is not clear. Philadelphia is exploring a bid, while Phoenix plans to bid for both the Democratic and Republican conventions. Newman says the Charlotte delegation was told the Republican Party is leaning toward a western location, but that the Democratic Party prefers a city in the east.