State Democratic Convention Coming To Fort Wayne

By Maureen Mespell
By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

December 14, 2010 Updated Dec 14, 2010 at 6:44 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- The streets of downtown Fort Wayne will be teeming with activity on a June weekend in 2012.

That's when the city will host the largest convention in its history.

It's especially big news for people who love to follow politics.

The City of Indianapolis has had a stranglehold on the state Democratic and Republican Conventions.

But 18 months from now, democrats will converge on Fort Wayne for their 2012 nominating convention, bringing their wallets with them.

State Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker was in the city mid-day Tuesday to confirm the Democratic Convention will bring at least 2,000 people to Fort Wayne June 15th through the 17th in 2012.

Fort Wayne got some positive publicity by hosting the Association of Cities and Towns Convention earlier this fall.

The new Courtyard By Marriott Hotel next to the Grand Wayne Center also makes the city a more attractive convention option.

The Democratic Party event marks the fifth time in the past couple of years that Fort Wayne has wrestled a sizeable gathering away from Indy.

Dan O'Connell/Visit Fort Wayne: " We're making in-roads to prove that we're a good quality city. We're the second largest city in Indiana, and we have the meeting facilities or tournament facilities to compete with Indianapolis."

Chair Carmen Darland/3rd District Democratic Party: " ‘Visit Fort Wayne’ has indicated this will be the largest convention ever held in Fort Wayne. So, this is a big deal, economically and politically. I can't wait."

A grassroots campaign that included the delivery of signed petitions helped Fort Wayne over the top in landing the political convention.

It’s happening in a Presidential year.

State Party Chairman Dan Parker says his group will invite someone from the national democratic ticket to come speak at the gathering.

The economic impact of the convention is estimated to be about $400,000 for three days.

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