Editor’s note: Mayor Scott Avedisian, a delegate to the GOP Convention, filed this report Wednesday morning. He and Mayor Allan Fung of Cranston, also a delegate, will offer a convention wrap-up when they return.
Tuesday was a day packed with all sorts of events for the Rhode Island delegation to the Republican National Convention. After checking in with their staffs at City Hall, Mayors Fung and I attended a delegation breakfast at the Marriott Suits Sand Key in Clearwater Beach. We listened as various surrogates of the Romney campaign laid out the theme for the day, “We Built It,” to showcase the work that local Republican leaders are doing across the country.
I went to see some local non-profits in action and Mayor Fung attended some trade association meetings. There were the usual convention glitches during the day: some Rhode Island delegates had trouble getting buses to the convention hall, there was some tension as a mediated compromise on rules for the next Republican National Convention were approved, and the ongoing tussle between the Romney camp and supporters of Ron Paul.
Fung and I converged at the Tampa Bay Times Forum for the actual roll call of the states. There, Mark Zaccaria, chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party, turned the microphone over to Mayor Fung. Fung, acknowledging that I was by his side, cast 15 votes for Mitt Romney and four votes for Ron Paul.
There was some confusion as the Nevada delegation continued a Romney/Paul argument in the aisle while Rhode Island was preparing for their part of the roll call, but cooler heads prevailed and State Representative Joe Trillo (R-Warwick) has able to get them to move their discussion elsewhere.
After the roll call was completed, Fung and I went to a dinner meeting of Republican mayors from across the country. But it was a Democrat, the mayor of Tampa, Bob Buckhorn, who reminded the group that the job of mayor was pretty non-partisan as mayors just need to get the job done for their communities.
After meeting with their fellow mayors, we went to an event for the New England delegations hosted by AT&T and Liberty Mutual and then it was back to the convention floor where speakers Ann Romney and Governor Chris Christie finished out the speaking program.