Later in the afternoon Dickens said that he hadn’t yet chatted with President Joe Biden, but has come to terms with his decision.
“Of course Atlanta wanted to expand the presidential maps south so that we are always in play,” he said. “And I think we are and we wanted that investment by the DNC.”
Atlanta’s bid focused on recent wins Georgia voters handed the first-term president — from backing Biden during the 2020 election to sending and keeping U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in their seats and maintain Democratic control.
Dickens said he sees no change in Atlanta’s role moving forward and said there will be continued opportunity for the southern city to play a crucial role in Democrats’ success nationwide.
“Of course (Democrats) want Georgia — Georgia showing up big in 2020, 2021, and then again in 2022,” he said. “The DNC and every other entity knows that Atlanta and Georgia are in play.”
Atlanta bid organizers pitched the city for not only its recent political successes but its rich civil right’s history and well-established tourism industry. The Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau had already secured about 15,000 rooms across nearly 70 hotels which will now be freed up for others.
But Dickens said it’s hard to beat the promise from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker to foot the entire bill from the massive four-day convention.
“The thing that Illinois had was a lot of cash coming from the governor who has already expressly said, ‘I will write this check, the DNC will not have any worry about the expenses coming back on their balance sheet,’” Dickens said.
“So that makes it a little easier decision,” he said.