Democratic officials tour Atlanta as a site for 2024 national convention

City’s only other political convention was in 1988 with Michael Dukakis formally nominated by Bill Clinton
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 3:00 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2022 at 11:21 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - City of Atlanta leaders stepped up their efforts Thursday to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention.

Mayor Andre Dickens and U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams hosted Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Jaime Harrison and other members of the DNC technical advisory group, who are visiting potential host cities for the 2024 nominating convention.

Harrison and DNC officials also toured some of the venues that could be used for the next convention.

In May, Dickens announced the city would submit a formal bid to host the nominating convention. “We’re going to do everything in our power to bring the 2024 Democratic National Convention to Atlanta, Georgia,” Dickens told Democrats at their annual state party dinner.

Williams represents Georgia’s fifth congressional district, which was represented for decades by the late John Lewis. Williams also chairs the Democratic Party of Georgia.

The last - and only - time Atlanta has hosted a political convention was 1988, when Democrats nominated former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis to face Vice President George H.W. Bush. Dukakis had just won a hotly contested nomination battle over Jesse Jackson, while Bush was seeking to take advantage of then-President Ronald Reagan’s vast national popularity.

Bush trounced Dukakis that November, carrying 40 states and winning 426 electoral votes. That was also the last election a presidential candidate won more than 400 electoral votes.

The 1988 Democratic convention was held at the Omni, now the site of State Farm Arena. Gov. Joe Frank Harris led Georgia’s delegation, which included former President Jimmy Carter and then-U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn.

On July 20, then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton formally nominated Dukakis. Clinton would win his party’s White House nomination four years later and eventually unseat President Bush, becoming the first Democrat to occupy the White House since Carter.

Much of the nation’s political attention continues to focus on Georgia. In 2020, Georgia was the only deep South state carried by a Democrat since Clinton in 1992, when Joe Biden won the state by less than half a percentage point. Georgia was also the only Southern state carried by Biden.

In 2020, Georgia elected two Democrats to the U.S. Senate, Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, who is seeking election to his first full Senate term this fall. Republican Herschel Walker is challenging Warnock in a battle that could determine the Senate’s balance of power.

Another nationally watched race centers around Gov. Brian Kemp’s quest for a second term. He is being challenged by Democrat Stacey Abrams in a rematch of 2018′s governor’s race. Kemp defeated Abrams in that open race, an election that Abrams has yet to concede.

If Kemp defeats Abrams this fall and Atlanta wins the 2024 DNC nomination, Democrats will hold their convention in a state largely dominated by the opposing party.