ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis' nascent efforts to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention are over almost as quickly as they began.

The city was among 30 nationwide asked to consider hosting the presidential nominating convention in two years. A local Democratic leader was in Washington on Wednesday to help woo Democratic Party leaders.

But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Mayor Francis Slay's chief of staff says the city is declining the invitation. Jeff Rainford cited the need to focus private fundraising efforts on a $380 million Gateway Arch improvement project. He expects a renewed bid for the convention in 2020.

St. Louis has hosted four Democratic conventions but none since 1916. Across the state, Kansas City is pushing aggressively to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.