Area Republicans in Tampa to support Romney/Ryan
TAMPA, Fla. An area delegate and two area alternates are in Tampa this week to help the Republican Party nominate Mitt Romney for president and Paul Ryan for vice president.
Janesville residents Bryan Steil and Jan Deters will serve as alternate delegates, but will play significant roles short of the actual nominating votes. Kim Travis from Williams Bay is a delegate, and she will be counted as one of the nominating votes from the Wisconsin delegation.
Steil said he's excited to be at the convention where his former boss will formally become the GOP vice presidential candidate.
"I was an aide to Congressman Ryan from 2003 to 2004 and worked on economic issues," Steil said. "I remember at the time he took on big spenders, both Democrats and Republicans.
"He was not in the mainstream of political thought on federal government economics at that time," Steil said. "Now I have a chance to go to the convention that will nominate him to carry that same message to the American voters. It took the country eight years to catch up to Paul Ryan.
"The congressman has moved his ideas down the field on federal budget reform, entitlement reform and reducing government spending," Steil said. "We are now in a position to score."
As a delegate, Travis said her main responsibility is to cast her vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket.
"It's very exciting and an honor to be a delegate to this historic convention," Travis said. "I'm looking forward to representing Wisconsin and the 1st Congressional District.
"It's an opportunity to meet with other delegates and alternates from around the state," she said. "We will all be working together to deliver Wisconsin in November for the Romney/Ryan ticket."
Deters said state party officials made sure alternates are not ignored.
"Thanks to Wisconsin's national committeewoman, Mary Buestrin, alternates are a part of the convention process including time on the convention floor," Deters said. "Kim and I have paired up so that we can share time on the floor. The only requirement is that Kim must be on the floor for the nominating votes."
Wisconsin's national committeeman, Steve King of Milton, helped make sure the Wisconsin delegation received favorable accommodations.
"Steve King is a member of the group that arranges for housing," Steil said. "It's no accident we have great accommodations at the Hyatt close to the convention site. The fact that the RNC chairman, Reince Priebus, is from Wisconsin probably helped as well."
Some days this week could run from 8 a.m. until 2 a.m. the next morning, Deters said.
"They could be long days, but they will be filled with exciting events," Deters said. "I'm looking forward to the Wisconsin delegation breakfasts and other state delegation events.
"Speakers are scheduled for each morning's breakfast, and we are expecting to hear from prominent members of the party including Gov. Scott Walker, our U.S. Senate candidate, Tommy Thompson, and perhaps party officials including Reince Priebus," she said. "Boat trips for the Wisconsin delegation, weather permitting, have been scheduled with Walker and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and another boat trip with former governor Thompson."
The Wisconsin delegation met Sunday afternoon to go over hurricane contingency and scheduling plans.
"Basically, Monday is called off and convention events and speakers scheduled for Monday will be folded into the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday schedules," Steil said.
The convention is set to run through Thursday. Ryan is scheduled to give his acceptance speech Wednesday evening while Romney's acceptance speech is scheduled to conclude the convention Thursday. Ryan is scheduled for a campaign stop Monday morning in Janesville. The dates for those two major convention events are not expected to change.