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Democrats narrow 2016 convention choice to 3 cities

Democrats will choose between Columbus, New York and Philadelphia for their 2016 convention site, where they will formalize their nominee for president, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced Monday.

The DNC is looking at the weeks of July 18, July 25 and August 22, 2016 for the convention.

"We're thrilled to move to the next step of the selection process to determine where Democrats will come together to nominate the 45th President of the United States," Wasserman Schultz wrote in an email to supporters. "We are fortunate to have such a diverse and vibrant group of cities interested in hosting this special event and we thank Phoenix and Birmingham for showcasing their special communities. We look forward to working with Columbus, New York, and Philadelphia as we go forward."

She also said the final city and date will be announced early next year.

In addition to Birmingham, Alabama and Phoenix, Democrats were eyeing Cleveland, but the Republicans beat them to it, announcing in August that Cleveland would be their convention site. It is the first time the city will have hosted a national convention since 1936, and was chosen in part because a recent increase in hotel construction will allow the city to accommodate the 50,000 people the convention could draw.

The GOP convention is likely to be held earlier than the Democrats', with June 28 as a potential start date. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has expressed a preference for wrapping up the nominating process earlier in the summer, although the date could be pushed back. Basketball star LeBron James' return to the Cleveland Cavaliers might help the NBA team make it to the NBA finals, which usually take place in mid-June.

Democrats held their 2012 nominating convention in Charlotte and the Republicans in Tampa.

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