The Common Good

Charlotte, Tampa Mayors Talk Hosting Conventions

SeanPavonePhoto, Marek Gahura /
Charlotte, N.C. and Tampa, Fla. skylines. SeanPavonePhoto, Marek Gahura /

They have the two of the most stressful jobs in the country, at least for the next couple of months. Mayors Bob Buckhorn of Tampa, Fla., and Anthony Foxx of Charleston, N.C., will play host to the Republican and Democratic national conventions, respectively.

The two sat down with Politico's Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen on Tuesday to discuss the challenges, economic opportunities, and politics of hosting such historic, national events. 

"I don't look at this as a political event," Buckhorn said. "… Yes, I am a Democrat, but I intend to be the best host the Republicans have ever had." 

Buckhorn said he views the event as more of an economic opportunity, with an estimated $175 million circulating through the city via federal funds, corporate and individual fundraising, and tourism dollars.

Mayor Anthony Foxx of Charlotte has a different challenge as he prepares for the shortened three-day convention in September. The city is under a contract requirement with the DNC that disallows fundraising from corporations, lobbyist, or PACs. 

While Foxx declined to say specifically how much of the $37 million goal has been raised, he did insist the 

fundraising was on track, saying that the DNC is putting in place "a model that says everyday people can play a role in contributing that matters." 

Foxx added that because of the rule, the committee has amassed 40 times more donors than Denver had in 2008.

Earlier this year, officials decided to shorten the convention to three instead of four days—insisting it had nothing to do with funding—and opted for a "CarolinaFest" Labor Day celebration in uptown Chrlotte. Foxx said it is "an opportunity to celebrate working people all across the nation."

The Republican National Convention is scheduled for Aug. 27-30. The Democratic National Convention is set to kick off with CarolinaFest on Sept. 3 and runs Sept. 4-6. 

Sandi Villarreal is Associate Web Editor for Sojourners. Follow her on Twitter @Sandi.

Charlotte, N.C. and Tampa, Fla. skylines. SeanPavonePhoto, Marek Gahura /

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