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Charlotte mayor gains visibility while raising money for DNC

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TWC News: Charlotte mayor gains visibility while raising money for DNC
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WASHINGTON – Speculation surrounding whether the Democratic National Convention host committee can raise enough money to successfully run the convention has been rampant since the Democratic National Committee announced it will not accept monetary donations from major corporations.

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx is playing a role working towards making the convention a success.

Foxx has already traveled to seven different cities around the country to attend fundraising events with President Barack Obama.

All part of the major effort underway to bring attention and dollars to The Queen City.

"Every place I go I'm representing the city of Charlotte, bottom line and I make no apologies for it because one of the things this convention will do for our city is introduce it to the world."

Experts like former Democratic National Committee political director Ed Espinoza says traveling and schmoozing is par for the course for mayors of host cities.

"The mayor always plays a pivotal role in selling that city,” said Ed Espinoza, Democratic political strategist.

And the role is more important than ever with the Charlotte convention being the first to place a self-imposed ban on corporate donations.

But even as reports have surfaced of the host committee struggling to hit its $36.6 million funding mark, and talk of wooing deep-pocketed unions to make ends meet, a spokeswoman for the host committee insists they're right on track.

Focusing on smaller donations, the host committee said they already have 22 times more donors than the 2008 convention had in the same time frame.

While the mayor's jet-setting could have a positive effect for Charlotte, it doesn't hurt him either.

With some of the strictest campaign finance rules in the country, exposure outside of North Carolina could help Foxx fund future runs.

"It's not easy to raise money in that state,” said Espinoza. “The way candidates from North Carolina can expand their fundraising base is by traveling outside of the state."

And of course for the Obama administration having a successful convention and good relationship with the mayor of a major city in a crucial battleground state could give the president the edge he needs.

"The turnout is higher when people have more enthusiasm for the ticket and for the people supporting the ticket. This is crucial in North Carolina,” said Espinoza.

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