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LA Mayor Touts Diversity as Half Democratic Delegates Women

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says the difference between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney is a choice between a candidate who wants “to build the economy from the middle up” and another who wants to build it from “the top down.”

Calling the Democratic National Convention “diverse in every respect,” Villaraigosa, chairman of the party’s convention opening Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, said at a press conference today that Obama “wants to reclaim the American dream.”

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx says North Carolina isn’t going to be an “easy state” to win for Obama. “This race is going to go all the way down to the wire,” Foxx said at the press conference today.

North Carolina was the closest state, Ben LaBolt, Obama’s spokesman told reporters today. Obama won the state by a margin of 15,000 votes in 2008, he said. The Obama campaign has been organizing on the ground for 500 days across the country, LaBolt said. The Romney campaign “is just getting started,” he said.

He forecast that the boost to North Carolina from the convention would trickle to Virginia, the neighboring state which is also considered a battleground in this election.

Virginia Boost

“It gives us just as much as a boost in Virginia as it does in North Carolina,” LaBolt said.

There are 5,556 delegates and 407 alternates at the party’s convention, according to Alice Germond, the Democratic National Committee secretary. Half of the delegates are women, which Germond called “pretty darn special.”

Romney has been trying to bridge a likeability gap with women voters as well as Latino voters shown in national polls. The Democrats have 100 more Hispanic and Latino delegates than they had in 2008, Germond said. She called the 2012 convention “the most open” and the “most transparent.” Caucuses and committee meetings are all open to the public.

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