“Seeing Mitt Romney do his acceptance speech will be a big highlight; he’s impressed me highly. Also seeing Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens give a keynote speech,” said Debbie McCord, a member of the Georgia Republican Party’s executive committee who will be attending her second convention.
The weeklong event, which begins Monday, will draw thousands of Republicans to Tampa. Still, organizers are closely watching Isaac, which could develop into a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico.
McCord and Augusta lawyer Sherry Barnes were elected as two of 31 at-large Georgia delegates in May at the state Republican convention in Columbus.
They will be accompanied by Nancy Bobbitt, a field representative for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson elected from the 12th Congressional District, and Megan Seda, attending her first convention as a district alternate.
Barnes, a past chairwoman of the Richmond County Republican Party, said she looked forward to the face time the convention allows participants with Romney; his vice presidential pick, Paul Ryan; and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Rice recently accepted an invitation to become one of Augusta National Golf Club’s first two female members.
Winning a slot at the state convention wasn’t easy, and more than 60 people competed to go from the 12th District, said Seda, one of the younger members of the group.
“It kind of helps if you’ve been around party politics and know some of the people in the district,” she said.
Delegates and alternates pay their own way unless they have a sponsor.
“It’s such as honor to go,” Seda said. “Once you get elected, you have to go.”