Tampa Bay Times Forum

There's more than one candidate in Florida

They are here to support Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, but a handful of Marylanders considering a run for higher office are also hoping to benefit politically from his convention.

The concentration of news media — both from Maryland and from other states — serves to elevate their profiles, and that helps with fundraising. There are more subtle advantages to attending the conventions, too: networking with party leaders, befriending longtime campaign volunteers and hearing national politicians at the top of their game give the most important addresses of their political careers.

"It's another opportunity to access funding from the conservative groups across...