By Kate Sullivan, CNN
A group of Southern Democrats is urging President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee to host its presidential nominating convention in Atlanta, arguing in a letter sent Monday that Biden owes his 2020 victory and a Democratic majority in the Senate to Georgia.
Atlanta is one of the top three cities being considered to host the convention, along with Chicago and New York City, according to a source familiar. The timing of the letter, which was sent to Biden and DNC chair Jaime Harrison, was strategic. It was sent days ahead of the DNC’s winter meeting so it would be front of mind for members and discussed at the Philadelphia gathering later this week, the source said.
More than 65 current and former Democratic US senators, members of the US House, governors, mayors and local leaders in Southern states signed the letter, a copy of which was obtained by CNN. Notable names include Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff of Georgia, Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia, and DNC senior adviser and former senior adviser to the president Cedric Richmond, among many others.
Former Alabama Sen. Doug Jones helped organize the letter, according to the source, and has been leading the effort to rally support for Atlanta’s bid throughout the South.
“Democratic turnout in the state of Georgia is the single greatest reason that you and Vice President Harris are in the White House today instead of Donald Trump and it is the single greatest reason why Democrats have maintained a majority in the United States Senate,” the letter, first reported by NBC News, reads. “Everything we have accomplished as a party since January of 2021 can be traced back to Georgia, and specifically, to the metro Atlanta area which swung the state in our favor.”
Ossoff and Warnock both won runoffs in January 2021, giving Democrats Senate control after Biden won the state in the 2020 election. Warnock helped Democrats maintain their majority by winning a full six-year term last year.
The letter argues Atlanta should be chosen because it “served as the cradle of America’s civil rights movement” and “stands as a beacon of LGBTQUIA+ rights in the Deep South.”
“As the cultural and economic hub of Black America, the city embodies the American Dream in the 21st Century. A nominating convention in the city of Atlanta will provide you with a backdrop that reflects your personal values and embodies your vision for America,” the letter reads.
Biden has proposed a drastic shakeup of the 2024 presidential nominating calendar that would add Georgia as an early nominating state. Under that calendar, which still needs to be approved at the upcoming DNC meeting, South Carolina would be the first state to hold a primary, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire on the same day a few days later, and then Georgia and Michigan before Super Tuesday. It breaks with the traditional calendar of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, which Republicans have already locked in as their early state order for 2024.
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