This season of primaries and caucuses is heating up the race for the Democratic candidacy for President. But the point of greatest temperature taking for the party will come this July in Milwaukee at the Democratic National Convention, hosted at and around Fiserv Forum.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat himself, is playing the host role of the event. He said clearly on WTMJ’s “Steve Scaffidi Show” that he will not add his name to the list of endorsements for any of the candidates.
“They’ve asked that I remain neutral during the convention, and so I’m going to honor that request,” said Barrett on the show Wednesday.
“What I try to do with all the candidates is say, ‘I’m happy to be with you, but I’m going to remain neutral through the convention,’ so that I don’t want anybody to think the host city is putting its thumb on any particular candidate.”
Barrett’s job won’t be to roll out endorsements. He’ll have enough red carpeting to roll out for the guests coming to the city – while currently rolling out opportunities for Milwaukee-area companies to take advantage.
“It’s going to be a busy four days. Obviously, I want to showcase our city and give opportunities. A lot of work right now is to get opportunities for cities to be part of it,” said Barrett. He talked about JCP Construction, an African-American-owned construction company, playing the role of contractor for work done within Fiserv Forum before the convention.
“We want to see local businesses benefit from this as well.”
JCP, and so many others involved may have a mad scramble if the Milwaukee Bucks reach the pinnacle of their sport and play in the NBA Finals. Their last game could come as late as Father’s Day (June 21), 22 days before the start of the convention.
“One of the things, as we were going through the bid process, that came up was, ‘What happens if the Bucks are in the NBA Finals in early-to-mid June and you have to transform the arena for a national political convention two to three weeks later?’
“I started chuckling and I said, ‘These are the kind of problems I like!’ If you’re telling me the Bucks are going to be in the NBA (Finals) and we have a national political convention three weeks later, we’ll figure things out.”