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Vail delegate arrives in Tampa for the big event

Kaye Ferry
Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily
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Well, it’s finally here, and so far so good. As I was preparing to go to Tampa, I got a lot of calls. “Are you sure you should go?” “I hear they may cancel the convention.” “Is it safe?” All well meaning but overly cautious.

So off I went, and I can only tell you that I had one of the least eventful flights I’ve ever had going into Florida. Left on time. Arrived on time. Not a single bump along the way. And miracle of miracles, my bags arrived when I did. Actually, they usually do, and I’m always amazed. That they occasionally get lost or delayed doesn’t surprise me as much as that they generally arrive when they should!

From the get-go, it was clear that this is a big event for Tampa. The flight attendants made sure to offer a special welcome to everyone who was traveling to the convention.

Down the concourse to baggage claim and out to the transportation pickup area, musicians were playing patriotic songs. The place seemed to be crawling with greeters, information specialists, and offers for whatever assistance you might need. All in all, the mood was festive and pretty exciting.

Since this is my first national convention, I’m really not sure what to expect.

Some people have been here for over a week. Those that were elected to the rules, platform and credential committees arrived about 10 days ago as they settled in to perform some very tedious but necessary tasks – things like changes to the bylaws and rules that will govern the convention and the party as a whole for the next four years.

The delegations from the different states all stay together at the same hotel. Colorado and New Mexico are staying at a Holiday Inn about 20 minutes from the convention center. Basic is about the best I can say about the accommodations – certainly not on my list of places to return to. But seeing as we won’t be spending much time in the room, I guess it really doesn’t matter.

The infectious thing is the atmosphere. There is a definite electricity in the air as a process that started back in January is finally coming to a head. January marked the state organizational meeting which was required after the redistricting/reapportionment process. Then February was caucus month in Colorado, and that was really exciting for Eagle County. We set a record of 550 attendees – the previous high was 180. And the County Assembly in March followed by the State Assembly in April set the stage for this final step, which truly represents grassroots democracy at work.

What is abundantly clear is the commitment the delegates have. The consensus is that this election will truly shape our future and everyone is anxious to get down to business.

But tonight was about celebrating. Everyone was glad to be here. Rodney Atkins got the crowd wound up. And Monday’s breakfast will showcase a special guest that as of now is a secret – so I’ll let you know tomorrow!

Just a word about the weather. It’s hot but not as hot as it’s been. The humidity defies description. And so far, just some light rain and barely any wind. So much for worrying.

Eagle County Republicans Chairwoman Kaye Ferry, of Vail, is a delegate at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. She is sending dispatches to the Vail Daily from the convention.


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