The convention site was unanimously approved by RNC members during a closed-door vote Friday morning at the party’s annual summer meeting here. McDaniel was joined by former White House chief of staff and one-time RNC chairman Reince Priebus, along with members of the party’s Wisconsin delegation for the announcement.
“Over the next two years, we look forward to working with the mayor and everyone in the community to make this an event that highlights not only our candidate … but the great city that is Milwaukee,” McDaniel said.
Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, a Democrat, defended the decision to host the convention in his city, telling CNN the move “doesn’t mean” Milwaukee is “subscribing to the Republican Party platform.”
“My position, and I think most Democrats understand this, is that this is not a political decision, it’s a business decision,” Johnson said. “It will give us an opportunity to have millions of dollars of economic impact … to fill our restaurants, bars, hotels and support our hospitality industry which has been hit by Covid, of course, lately. two years.”
Johnson joined McDaniel on Friday to officially reveal Milwaukee as the convention’s choice site, days after Nashville fell out of contention as a possible alternative. Milwaukee began its bid to host the convention nearly a year ago, and city representatives met with RNC officials in February as they toured cities that were finalists, which at the time included Salt Lake City and Pittsburgh. Both cities were later removed from the running.
“I think any time you host a large-scale event, there’s potential for this type of activity. Our police department is well experienced and I think they’re prepared for the convention,” Johnson said, noting that Milwaukee was originally supposed to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention before going virtual amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The police in Milwaukee are already well prepared for this and will be in a really great position to execute what we were setting out to execute last fight,” Johnson said.
This story has been updated with additional reports on the selection.