The Democratic National Convention continues Wednesday in Charlotte, and Mayor Karl Dean is getting a firsthand look at what it could look like to play host to a political convention.
The mayor is wasting no time on the ground in Charlotte and said he expects to bring back some lessons to Nashville.
As a Tennessee delegate this week, Dean said he has spent his days in seminars learning about everything from education reform to the economy. He has also met with other big city mayors to hear and learn about their issues and successes.
"It's a good chance to learn there are a lot of real smart people here, and a variety of groups have put together some good seminars and panel discussions," Dean said.
And like any mayor of a comparable city in the Southeast might do, he has been checking out Charlotte. He has looked at their transit issues and said he likes what he sees of the thriving city.
"It's been a good trip, and I think Charlotte - I haven't been in about 10 years, and I'm really impressed by how their downtown is doing," Dean said.
With the Music City Center about one year away from completion, Dean said he thinks Nashville could definitely handle a Republican or Democratic convention in the future, but he acknowledges it's not easy to play host.
"I think we have the hotel space. We have the convention center and the arena. We have the ability to handle it, and I think our downtown is very compelling. It would be a lot of work," Dean said.
The mayor also said that while Tennessee is an increasingly Republican state, this week's Democratic National Convention could play a big part in getting out the vote for some Democratic races in Davidson County.
He predicted the county will stay blue and vote for President Barack Obama in the November election.
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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