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Phoenix mayor excited to make Democratic convention bid

PHOENIX -- Mayor Greg Stanton is excited about the possibility that Phoenix may host 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Earlier this week, the Democratic National Committee requested a bid from Phoenix to host the convention. Stanton said the city's bid will outline why the Democrats should come here.

He said there is adequate transportation and several hotels close to the Phoenix Convention Center and that Phoenix is ready to host the convention, among other reasons.

"With our growing diversity that we're lucky enough to have here, and our fast-growing Latino population, from a political perspective, it makes a lot of sense for the DNC to choose Phoenix," Stanton said.

Earlier this year, the Republican National Committee rejected Phoenix's bid to host its 2016 convention. According to CNN, Republican officials said that high competition was the reason that Phoenix's bid failed.

The RNC's Site Selection Committee Chair Enid Mickelsen issued a statement on April 2, saying "in any other year, Columbus and Phoenix could have topped the list, but with so many strong cities competing, the committee had to make the difficult decision to narrow the field. Phoenix and Columbus are great American cities, and I hope they'll pursue a future bid for an RNC convention."

Stanton believes the bid his city offered the Republicans was a good one, but Phoenix had no control over the factors that led the committee to reject it.

"They have to make their own determination based on where, regionally, they think the convention should be, where they have the easiest access to the people with significant financial means to underwrite things," he said. "There's a lot of factors that go into it."

Stanton hopes the Democrats make the same mistake the Republicans did when they turned down the Valley of the Sun.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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