MILWAUKEE — With eight months until the 2024 Republican National Convention, GOP party leaders praised Wisconsin and convention host city Milwaukee during an event preview Thursday morning at Fiserv Forum.
Anne Hathaway, RNC chairwoman of the committee on arrangements, welcomed attendees into the arena with warm excitement about the convention’s location.
“I'm a Midwesterner. So having you all here in the Midwest means so much to me,” said Hathaway, who also chairs the Indiana Republican Party. “Milwaukee and Wisconsin made it clear they wanted the 2024 Republican convention here in this city. And most importantly, the people made us feel welcome.”
Convention leaders project the event will bring in 50,000 new visitors and have up to a $200 million impact on Milwaukee’s economy, according to TMJ4.
Republican investments in Milwaukee come as the party struggles to find electoral success in Wisconsin, a swing state often described as “the center of the political universe.” The party, which has lost 15 of 18 statewide races since 2018, hosted the first GOP presidential debate in Milwaukee in August.
Democrats have similarly invested in Wisconsin. Although Democrats held a scaled-back 2020 convention in the city amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden administration officials made numerous visits to the state in 2023.
Despite describing himself as a “proud Democrat,” Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson joined event leaders for Thursday’s walkthrough.
Johnson told reporters he appreciated the convention’s economic boon for the city.
“I'm not Republican,” Johnson said. “But that means that my role here is different, right? I'm not here in a political capacity. In fact, I'm here because my goals include hosting a convention that brings attention to Milwaukee.”
Reince Priebus, 2024 Host Committee chairman and former RNC chair, and Elise Dickens, CEO of the 2024 Republican Convention, joined Hathaway on Thursday to acknowledge everyone who helped prepare the walkthrough and convention.
Milwaukee will host the Republican National Convention from July 15, 2024 through July 18, 2024.
Ava Menkes is the state news editor at The Daily Cardinal. She has covered multiple stories about Wisconsin politics and written in-depth about nurses unions and youth voter turnout. Follow her on Twitter at @AvaMenkes.