WASHINGTON (AP) -- Boston will host the 2004 Democratic National Convention, party sources said Wednesday, edging out New York and two other cities as Democrats prepare to challenge President Bush's re-election bid.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Boston would get the nod at a Democratic Party meeting here later Wednesday.
The decision means Democrats will gather in one of the nation's most liberal states to nominate their presidential candidate. Bush has not announced his intentions, but White House officials are already plotting his re-election and have no doubt that he will seek a second term.
The convention's 40-member site advisory committee was meeting Wednesday to review bids from Boston, New York, Detroit and Miami. A recommendation would go to Democratic National Chairman Terry McAuliffe, who makes the final decision.
Boston has promised a $49.5 million financial package of support for the convention, including $20 million in cash commitments.
Michael Meehan, senior counselor to McAuliffe, said those letters of credit from Boston businesses mark the first time that cash has been promised before a convention bid has been awarded.
"Cash makes a louder statement than promised in-kind services," he said.
Boston has never hosted a national political convention.
New York has pledged $72 million, and Miami $40 million and Detroit $50 million, respectively.
Meehan said Tuesday that all four cities are still in the running. For instance, McAuliffe hasn't ruled out Detroit because of Michigan's importance as a crucial swing state in the presidential elections, he said.
However, Carole Brennan, a spokeswoman for Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, confirmed Tuesday that city attorneys have started discussions with Democratic National Committee attorneys about convention contracts.
New York is also one of three finalists for the Republican National Convention, along with New Orleans and Tampa-St. Petersburg in Florida, where President Bush's brother, Jeb Bush, is the Republican governor. Democrats and Republicans are unlikely to host their conventions in the summer of 2004 in the same city.
The GOP's site committee has not yet made a recommendation.
Cities increased their lobbying of the DNC in recent days.
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., called McAuliffe on Friday to pitch Boston.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican, flew to Washington to dine with McAuliffe on Sunday night.
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