Charlotte Cheers DNC Choice
Charlotte leaders are rejoicing over news that the Democratic National Convention is coming to the city in 2012. Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx first got the call this morning from DNC Chairman Tim Kaine that Charlotte is it for 2012. A few hours later, community and business leaders celebrated the news at a press conference. Foxx told the crowd the convention will let Charlotte shine. "We will spend the next couple of years telling the world what a great place North Carolina is and what a wonderful city Charlotte is," said Foxx. Cam Harris, a prominent Democrat and one of the effort's lead fundraisers, expressed his excitement this way. "Hot damn, wasn't that good news," shouted Harris. Harris said he's pride of how his city's grown over the years. "I can remember when Sharon Rd. was a farm road that connected my granddaddy's milk cattle farm to a beef cattle farm down at Quail Hollow Country Road, a dirt road. And here we are getting ready to have the democratic convention. Damn, what a move this city has made," said Harris. DNC Chair Tim Kaine says one selling point for Charlotte and North Carolina in the convention bidding was the state's success in re-making the economy. "From an economy that was about tobacco, textiles and furniture to now a research-driven economy with advanced manufacturing and other new industries, Charlotte and North Carolina will be part of a story that we'll want to tell through Election Day, November 2012," says Kaine. Charlotte leaders hope the convention will be another economic jump-start to the region. The city is expected to host 35,000 delegates, visitors, and reporters for the convention. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority estimates the convention will generate $150 to $200 million. Fundraisers say they'll need $40-$50 million dollars in donations to host the event. Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, who's coordinating the fundraising effort, wouldn't say how much they've raised so far, but he says they have a good start. "I think quite frankly the fact that we demonstrated that we can raise money is one of the edges we had compared to other cities," Charlotte beat out Minneapolis, Cleveland and St. Louis for the convention. Kaine plans to visit Charlotte tomorrow to check out Time Warner Cable arena where the event will be held.