Jeramey Jannene

Milwaukee Wins 2024 Republican National Convention

It's official. GOP will pick its presidential nominee in Milwaukee.

By - Aug 5th, 2022 12:13 pm
Milwaukee Skyline. Photo from Milwaukee Downtown.

Milwaukee Skyline. Photo from Milwaukee Downtown.

The Republicans are coming.

Milwaukee was formally announced Friday as the host of the 2024 Republican National Convention. The 168 national party members selected the city during its summer meeting in downtown Chicago.

“Milwaukee is a world-class city, and we are eager to see it shine in the spotlight come 2024,” said GOP party chair Ronna McDaniel in a tweet announcing the vote results.

The decision was widely expected, as the party had reduced the field of bidders to two, Milwaukee and Nashville, only to see the Nashville Metro Council reject the necessary host agreement.

Milwaukee successfully courted the national political convention using Wisconsin’s swing state status and the “turnkey” operation the city provided. After securing the 2020 Democratic National Convention and engaging in virtually all of the preparation work to host the event, the COVID-19 pandemic rendered the convention a largely virtual event.

In a press conference announcing the selection, McDaniel was first to thank Mayor Cavalier Johnson. Joining Johnson on stage were host committee chair and former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, VISIT CEO Peggy Williams-Smith, Fire Chief Aaron Lipski, Police Chief Jeffrey Norman, Sheriff Earnell Lucas, Wisconsin Center District CEO Marty Brooks, state party chair Paul Farrow, host committee secretary Gerard Randall and County Executive David Crowley.

“We are committed to using vendors and being part of this community in a positive way that will benefit everyone,” said McDaniel.

She praised Johnson, then joked he should cover his ears when she said the convention would serve as the launchpad for the next president. Johnson, a Democrat, has long said he favors the event for the business impact, not the political impact.

“The entire world should be in shock because there is a bipartisan moment happening,” said McDaniel.

“I look forward to presenting my city,” said Johnson. “You will find that Milwaukee is full of unexpected gems… I want you to take all of your money to Milwaukee, spend it in that week and leave it there in our economy.”

He pivoted his speech to calling other conventions and major events to come to Milwaukee. “We want you in Milwaukee,” said the mayor. “Milwaukee is open for business.”

Priebus said raising the estimated $75 million necessary to host the convention wouldn’t be an issue. Randall previously told Urban Milwaukee that approximately one-third had been raised, but that the city emerging as the front-runner would make raising the rest easy. In addition to Priebus and Randall, Kathryn Burke and Ted Kellner serve on the host committee as vice chair and treasurer.

“This will be the first convention in person since Cleveland [in 2016],” said Priebus. “Milwaukee is the perfect place to go. It’s a battleground state. It matters.”

Similar to the DNC, the RNC is expected to bring 45,000 visitors to the area.

The brief press conference was followed by a ceremonial signing of the host agreement by Johnson, McDaniel and Priebus. It spells out the responsibilities for each entity and is required to access a federal security grant.

Locally, the state’s tax structure has been an issue and almost derailed the Common Council’s approval of a host agreement. A federal grant of approximately $50 million is expected to offset the security costs, but there is no expected financial windfall for the city government.

The city does not have its own sales, hotel or income tax, an issue raised by multiple council members during the approval process. The agreement the city ultimately approved, a three-party agreement between the host city, host committee and national party calls for a good faith effort to provide some benefit to the city, but excess revenue has historically been given to local nonprofits.

The announcement comes the same day as former president Donald Trump is hosting a rally in Waukesha County to endorse Tim Michels in the GOP gubernatorial race. Trump continues to advance a theory that the election was stolen from him.

The potential for violence and Republican political stances also were an issue during the approval process.

“The Republican Party, both nationally and in Wisconsin, has become an organization that supports White Supremacists, the violent attempted coup at the US Capitol to overthrow a democratic election, and continues to engineer new ways to undermine fair and democratic elections,” said a coalition led by Voces de la Frontera Action in May.

In anticipation of Milwaukee’s selection as the convention host, the newly-formed “Coalition to March on the RNC” announced it would discuss its protest plans later Friday afternoon.

“We welcome the opportunity to rally the masses of people across the country in opposition to the Republicans and their racist, sexist, bigoted, anti-worker agenda,” said Omar Flores, a spokesperson for the coalition, in a statement. “We’ll bring the fight right to their doorstep at their national convention in 2024.”

The convention, for which an official date remains to be announced, would be the first political convention in Milwaukee for either of the major political parties.

The multi-day event will be held at Fiserv Forum and the expanded Wisconsin Center. The city leveraged what was then a brand-new arena to woo Democrats in 2018. The $420 million Wisconsin Center expansion, to be completed in early 2024, was a key piece of landing the bid this time. Also key factors were the perceived compact footprint of the convention center and arena and the previously established security plan.

Categories: Politics, Weekly

9 thoughts on “Milwaukee Wins 2024 Republican National Convention”

  1. Polaris says:

    Great news! And it sounds like the mayor did a great job talking up Milwaukee at the announcement,

    I can’t remember where I saw in one of the articles today that MKE promised that all delegates would stay within 30 minutes of Fiserv Forum. When the Dems were coming, I remember states like California and New York were going to be staying in Chicago. MKE sure hasn’t built that much more in hotel rooms in the past 4 years…

  2. NieWiederKrieg says:

    Congratulations Milwaukee….

    The whole world will be watching the City of Milwaukee during the 2024 GOP Convention… Please welcome your guests as though they were your friends and family…

    Make sure that every Republican guest is given the opportunity to book a Chinook Salmon charter boat fishing trip on the greatest trout and salmon sport fishery in the world, Lake Michigan…. Are you listening Visit Milwaukee???

    Millions of people will book vacation trips to Milwaukee after they watch Donald Trump battle a 35 pound chinook salmon for an hour on a Lake Michigan charter boat… Trump will be so worn out, he won’t be able to lift his arms for 48 hours.. Donald Trump Jr. was in Milwaukee’s Lake Shore State Park a couple of years ago, ice fishing for giant brown trout and steelhead trout.

  3. Mingus says:

    I question whether Republican delegates and elected officials will show respect for the citizens of Milwaukee and are elected officials. With Republicans like Ron Desantis, Ron Johnson, Ted Cruz, Kevin McCarthy and others are frequently trashing urban areas in the media I doubt that they will hold off their inflammatory remarks on urban areas and will target Milwaukee for the conservative media.

  4. SusanDuality says:

    Welcoming the RNC is tantamount to supporting the subversion of voting rights, forced birth, and lies about everything from 2020 election to January 6.

    Didn’t the pro-convention sycophants read what Viktor Orbán was saying at CPAC only days ago? He’s a racist authoritarian who suppressed dissent in his own country, and the Republicans applauded.

    Welcome? Really, no protests expected? What civic naivety! I fear it will be just a question of how badly each side behaves. Probably protesters vs. police, with nary a chinook salmon in the streets.

    Cavalier Johnson evidently doesn’t know that Republicans are the party of white power. Read a national paper, mayor!

  5. MrTea says:

    I cant think of anything worse for our city then to bring extremist hateful often crazy Republicans and their loony toon dangerous convention to Milwaukee. We deserve better then the dollars earned from these dreadful hate inspiring people who’s main goal is to divide others and steal your rights your money and suppress or steal your vote! God forbid you are a minority of any kind you will and are suffering due to their hateful views and policies. These views led to Jan 6th and the big Trump lies and Republicans just keep at it still today. So many hateful choices and more to come I am sure but wether its Trump and his lies or worse yet DeSantis of Florida he seems hellbent to be the next Stalin with his views and weird behaviors!

    These mostly white men lie and ramp up BS social issues to ramp up hate in their base at normal Americans expense. They label anyone they dislike or hate as liberal and threaten them with harm and so they are truly a dangerous cult.
    Here at home sadly we have the dumbest Senator in congress Mr pretend talk to his cell phone Johnson and his conspiracy theory garbage who worked to take down democracy and he gladly worked with Trump to bring fake electors to Washington and claim they were legit due to non existent fraud in Wisconsin. We have Vos and Gableman who have wasted our tax money chasing fraud BS they created to try to say the elections were rigged knowing full well they were not a narrative created by Trump and amplified by his extremist party members. These are shameless craven vile dangerous people. Now Vos is being back stabbed by Trump since he was not crazy or extreme enough for Trump.

    WISCONSIN WOMEN are now second class citizens and if Republicans have their way women will lose control of their bodies and some mostly white male will tell them what they must do with their bodies from abortion to birth control. This is nuts and wrong and really well INSANE.

    LBGTQ people are facing losing their marriage rights and frankly all the their rights if these lunatics take power. People of color often mistreated will become 3 class citizens if Republicans have their way! Immigrants who do the work most privileged white people would never do are treated like they are sub human yet they take care of your kids your parents and your lawns! Keep in mind if Republicans regain power they would see them caged or worse. Over the past years since Trump violent hate crimes are up over 500 percent due to Republicans hateful rhetoric I cant imagine the fear and anxiety of anyone of these people since republicans have put targets on their backs due to Republicans hate and they have no platform other then hate and this is why they are so dangerous.

    Republicans support CPAC who focused with Trump and Cruz on hate for liberals used violent rhetoric during CPAC and many other high ranking extremist Republicans are racist and their main guest was Victor Orban who they embraced and stood for and cheered who is a racist anti-Semitic piece of work who in his own home country of Hungry is a proud white nationalist. Another word for Nazi or KKK he wants a pure white christian nation. That should scare the hell out of any rational American.

    So to see this convention come here by default since no one else wanted their dangerous brand of hate and no other state would take them even Nashville said NOPE to their hate and craziness so we in Milwaukee inherits them. So sad they will bring with them their GOP Party loyalists the Oath keepers, Neo Nazis and Three Percenters these are the same violent nuts who attacked our nations capitol. These are the men and woman who’ll invade our city and are in lock step with this new Republican Party.

    Milwaukee has made a lot of progress over the past years and we have a long way to go to overcome racial division, economic issues and education problems health issues and violence so many of the same problems that all cities face but bringing the RNC here is a mistake and do you really think its worth the money? I certainly do not. I hope and pray every citizen of Miwaukee County will show these crazy people kindness and respect while they are here since Republicans often do not show others the same. That said I fear for our city while they are here and what the sick baggage they bring with them and I fear for the nation if in November of this year if they take the House of Representatives and when they are here in 24 for their convention how much more destruction they will bring between now and then who knows how ugly the nations gets by then due to these peoples lies and bad behaviors! When they finally do come here in 2024 they may be nothing more then a dangerous powder keg. Why would we want that here why would we need to worry who will light a match. .

    I fear if Republicans are elected and gain power in 24 how they will destroy democracy and bring violence to the streets of our nation. So I say reject them now before they have a chance to darken our doorsteps and do lasting damage to our city. .

  6. NieWiederKrieg says:

    @MrTea –

    Speaking of Racists, White Supremacy, Neo Nazis, and Anti-Semites, are you aware that the people of right wing, extremist Israel are once again slaughtering hundreds of Palestinian women and children in Gaza? The Arabic speaking people of Palestine are, by definition, Semitic people…

    Israelis have built a 30 foot tall wall around Gaza surrounded by machine gun towers, razor wire, and land mines… Six million Palestinians are imprisoned, tortured, and murdered in a “concentration camp”, built by white, Anti-Semitic Israelis… The Gaza concentration camp is 100 times larger than any of the concentration camps built by Germany during WWII.

    Joe Biden visited Israel three weeks ago and was hailed as a hero to Israel… Biden ignores the Semitic Palestinians being slaughtered and tortured in the Gaza concentration camp, but he gives hundreds of billions of American taxpayer dollars to Israel along with unlimited amounts of American weapons, war planes, tanks, missiles, killer drones, and attack helicopters… And the genocidal Israelis use all of these American weapons to ethnic cleanse the 6 million Palestinians imprisoned in Gaza from the face of the Earth.

  7. ringo muldano says:

    Funny how f’d up reality is for rCons and dip$hits. NWK ignores the plank for the speck. F rCons. Dumbass.

  8. nickzales says:

    A good question to ask is why none of the 20 largest cities in the USA wanted this band of thugs, traitors, seditionists, Klansmen and all-around scumbags. Nashville is No. 21, Milwaukee 30.

    We will look like total idiots, bumpkins, and hillbillies allowing these proto-Nazis into our city. Milwaukee’s image? It will take a severe beating…yet again. When you sell your soul for 30 bits of Silver, you become known as an all-time champion chump. JUST SAY NO!

  9. kaygeeret says:

    This will NOT turn out well for MKE.

    The rethugs will be looking for every opportunity to create trouble…probably verbally as they quickly ‘RUN’ for cover.

    We should have followed Nashville’s lead. If THEY don’t want the convention, that should tell us everything we need to know.

    It is a southern city in a rethuglican state, their natural habitat.

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