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Democrats Pick Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa to Lead Convention

Antonio Villaraigosa
Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of Los Angeles, in Washington. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

The Democratic National Committee has tapped Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as chairman of the party’s September national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Mayor Villaraigosa has dedicated his career to civic engagement and empowering people at the grassroots,” DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a U.S. House member from Florida, said in a news release. “And that’s exactly what we need to be successful at this convention -- input and engagement from Americans across the country.”

Last month, the DNC announced that the final night of the convention would be held at Bank of America Stadium, an outdoor venue that will let President Barack Obama accept his party’s nomination before a larger audience.

Democrats also shortened the convention program from four days to three. The rest of the convention, which begins Sept. 4, will be held at the Time Warner Cable Arena.

As the permanent chairman, Villaraigosa will preside over the convention’s proceedings, ensure order and serve as a national spokesman for the party, which is seeking to appeal to Hispanic voters.

On the first day of the convention, Wasserman Schultz will nominate Villaraigosa to the Rules Committee. His nomination will be voted on by convention delegates in the opening session, according to a DNC press release.

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