Inside Pitch
6:15 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

Ohio Democrats split between two hotels in Charlotte

The 225 delegates and alternates from Ohio are staying in two different hotels in Charlotte, nearby to one another on the north side of town.

About half are in the Hilton University Plaza hotel and the rest are in the Drury Inn, just a block or so away.

Shortly before 5 p.m., several busloads of delegates and guests, most of northeast and northwest Ohio, rolled into the Drury Inn parking lot after the long ride to Charlotte.

Others flew in, such as Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, who arrived at the Drury about the same time Sunday that the buses did. Cincinnati council member, Yvette Simpson, was in the lobby of the hotel, and ran up to the mayor and gave him a big hug.

"My mayor,'' Simpson said. "So glad to see you."

Almost as soon as the Ohio delegates arrived, they loaded back into buses for a trip to a "Welcome to Charlotte" reception; and had an Ohio-only celebration at the Hilton University later Sunday night.

It is a diverse group of delegates - it has to be under party rules, which requires the state party to meet minimum requirements for minorities in the delegation.

The Ohio delegation includes 65 African-Americans, 26 "young Democrats" under the age of 35, 15 gay and lesbian delegates, 11 Hispanics, 6 of Asian Pacific islander background and four people with disabilities.

There is no official convention session Monday, but the Ohioans will gather for their daily delegation breakfast.

That takes place at a third location and involves another bus ride - it is at the nearby Oasis Shriners Lodge and will be a celebration of organized labor - which makes up a large part of the delegation - on Labor Day.