Podesta speaks

Patsy Bowles, a Bloomington resident and presidential delegate from Illinois' 18th Congressional District, took this photo of John Podesta, chair of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, speaking Monday at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. The convention is July 25-28.

CHICAGO — The Democratic National Committee announced with great fanfare in March that it was bringing its 2020 presidential nominating convention to Milwaukee, the biggest city in a swing state the party wants to win to help it defeat President Donald Trump.

On Thursday, the DNC released its housing assignments for the 57 state, district and international delegations that will be attending the convention. Twenty-six of them will be staying at Illinois hotels, providing a significant economic impact to Wisconsin's southern neighbor.

Nearly 3,000 hotel rooms are being assigned to delegates staying in Wisconsin while about 2,850 are being reserved for delegates in Illinois, a DNC list showed. In total, DNC officials said they are holding 17,000 rooms for the convention.

A total of 13 convention delegations, including that of California, the home state of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as those from Florida and Texas, will be staying in Rosemont, outside O'Hare International Airport.

Another 13 delegations will be housed in hotels in Lake County, including the group from Pennsylvania, another critical state Democrats are hoping to reclaim from Trump.

"I'm ecstatic. We've got 4,000 people coming. Even as a Republican, I love those Democrats," said Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens, a recently appointed GOP state representative.

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Stephens said the village was unaware of how sizable a contingent of delegates it would receive until just days ago, when its public safety officials were notified about planning efforts.

Stephens said he expects a significant number of the village's 6,000 hotel rooms to be reserved for the convention, scheduled for July 13-16. "We'll be putting together some creative minds to show the economic impact and talk it up," he said.

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Stephens said he expects that delegates being bused the nearly 90 miles to Milwaukee will receive police escorts to help speed their way to the Fiserv Forum.

DNC officials sought to stress that two-thirds of the delegates will stay within a 45-minute drive and that those staying in Rosemont will still have shorter travel times than many delegations attending previous conventions.

Illinois' delegation will be staying in Waukesha, Wisconsin, state party officials said.

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