Philly one of three finalists for Democratic convention

**FILE** The Philadelphia skyline is seen in a  In a Monday, June 16, 2008 file photo taken from Camden, New Jersey.  The mayors of Philadelphia, Atlanta and Phoenix asked the federal government Friday, Nov. 14, 2008,  to use a portion of the $700 billion financial bailout to assist struggling cities. (AP Photo/Tom Mihale, File)

**FILE** The Philadelphia skyline is seen in a In a Monday, June 16, 2008 file photo taken from Camden, New Jersey. The mayors of Philadelphia, Atlanta and Phoenix asked the federal government Friday, Nov. 14, 2008, to use a portion of the $700 billion financial bailout to assist struggling cities. (AP Photo/Tom Mihale, File)

The Democratic Party has named Philadelphia as one of three cities still in the running to host its 2016 presidential convention, along with Columbus, Ohio, and New York City, which proposes to host the convention in  Brooklyn. 

The announcement from DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz scratches Birmingham, Alabama, and Phoenix from the competition.

Kevin Washo, a strategist working for the group trying to lure the gathering here, said in an interview closing the deal will require a substantial private fundraising effort.

“We’ve been consistent all along with where this (cost)  is going to be, somewhere in the $65 million range or so,” Washo said. “If we win, we’re going to raise the money and have a great convention.”

Former Gov. Ed Rendell is working on fundraising. A final decision is likely in the next three months.

Rendell has said fundraising for the Catholic Church’s World Meeting of Families next year complicates the effort to get pledges for the Democratic convention, but he thinks the city’s business and civic community can manage it.

Mayor Michael Nutter has ruled out city funds for the host committee, but a state grant remains a possibility.

The city last hosted a major party convention in 2000, when the Republicans held their nominating convention in Philadelphia.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.