Editor’s Note: Mayor Scott Avedisian, a Rhode Island delegate to the Republican National Convention, submitted this report Monday from Tampa. He is attending the Convention along with Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.
Hurricane Isaac seems to be making the biggest news out of Tampa. It was rainy and windy yesterday as delegates, alternates and guests from Rhode Island descended upon Tampa. The majority of Rhode Islanders are staying at the Marriott Suites Sand Key Hotel in Clearwater Beach, Fla., but some others are staying at private homes and condominiums around the Tampa Bay area. The original plan for Sunday was changed based upon the fact that the Republican National Committee announced that the convention session planned for Monday would not take place. Instead, sessions for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday would be lengthened. The official welcoming party at Tropicana Field did take place as had been scheduled.
Delegates converged on the official hotel to sign proxy endorsements for Governor Romney in case the weather took a turn for the worse and they were not able to commence the official nominating process for the presidential and vice presidential candidates. Delegates signed the official forms yesterday for Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan.
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung attended a summit of Asian Republicans last evening. He was a featured speaker along with former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. Several hundred people attended, including Asian Republican elected officials from throughout the country. I attended a meeting with convention volunteers that included former staff members for Governor Lincoln Almond.
On Monday, Fung and I will make the round of pre-convention events by attending events sponsored by such groups as AT&T, the National Home Builders, Armenian Republicans and the like. They will join the other Rhode Island delegates and the official delegations from Wisconsin, New York, South Dakota and North Dakota at an event this afternoon on the St. Petersburg Pier.
Today, the mayors will attend a meeting of the Republican members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Tampa.
Mayor Fung is attending his second Republican National Convention. I have been elected to represent Rhode Island at every Republican National Convention since 1984.