BY MARISSA GALLO, firstname.lastname@example.org
5:57 PM EDT, August 23, 2012
The country's top Republicans will gather next week for the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., where Mitt Romney will more than likely be named the party's nominee for president.
The convention, which runs Monday through Thursday, will host 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternative delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories, including three representing Harford County.
Harford County Executive David Craig, Del. Kathy Szeliga and Maryland politician Ellen Sauerbrey will attend the convention, Patrick McGrady, the Harford County Republican Party's chairman, said.
He described the event as "a good kick in the pants for the campaign" and looks forward to watching it on TV at home.
McGrady said he's looking forward to speeches from "different leaders in the Republican party," such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is keynote speaker.
Romney's anticipated acceptance speech, he added, will be "energizing to the Republican base."
"It will make people want to get off their couches and go work for the election," McGrady said.
The chairman has already been doing his part for Romney's campaign — identifying voters who "want to take America down a different path," helping Sen. Nancy Jacobs in her run for Congress and assisting U.S. Rep. Andy Harris in his re-election.
"The economy is still the biggest thing," McGrady said about what's being talked about this election season, as far as "regulations with taxes and burdens on businesses."
McGrady's also excited to hear Sen. Rand Paul, son of U.S. Rep Ron Paul, speak at the convention.
"He's the future of the Republican party as I see it," he said. "He and I agree on most issues." McGrady feels Paul has "serious conservatism that a lot of people who don't like Republican or Democratic politics agree with."
Ron Paul, who also ran for president alongside Romney, will also speak and is said to receive an almost honorary nomination that shows, as McGrady said, "we value your commitment to the party."
Szeliga was already busy at work this week as part of the Republican platform committee.
"Each state chooses a man and a woman from their state to represent them," she explained. "One hundred of them formulate the platform for the party for the next four years."
Szeliga said she's most looking forward to "a leader from our party in Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan that can really restore this nation to the great values and principles that guided it for years."
The delegate described herself as a "huge fan" of Ryan's, Romney's pick for vice president, calling him "dynamic and young and just very bright."
"His handle on economics is remarkable," Szeliga added. "[The pick] shows how committed Mitt Romney is to turning our economy around."
Szeliga attended the New York convention in 2004, but only as an attendee. This will be her first convention as an official delegate.
"President Obama is going to do everything he can from [to] distract voters from the economy and jobs," she said about the upcoming election season. "That's why he continues to attack Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan or have surrogates attack them because he cannot stand on his own record."
The 2012 Democratic National Convention will be held Sept. 3-6 in Charlotte, N.C.