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Denton delegates get busy at GOP national convention

Profile image for By Bj Lewis / Staff Writer
By Bj Lewis / Staff Writer

A few delegates from Denton are in attendance at the Republican National Convention in Florida. Among them is lawyer Richard Hayes, a delegate at-large representing the state of Texas.

“I’m having a very good time,” Hayes said Tuesday.

He noted seeing many of the well-known television reporters walking about the convention.

“[Monday], in our delegation, Dan Rather came down and was interviewing people. [Monday], I got interviewed by the Billy Graham Radio Network. There’s a tremendous amount of news outlets here. About 15,000 media are here, they said.”

There are about 2,800 delegates in attendance, Hayes said.

Hayes said events are set to run smoothly despite losing a day because of concerns of Tropical Storm Isaac.

“Looking back they probably made the decision a little sooner than they needed to,” Hayes said. “Here we just had a couple spurts of rain, never any real wind, we were very fortunate.”

Hayes said the convention was called to order Monday at about 2 p.m. and then quickly recessed.

“They have a revised schedule of all the speakers and how they rearranged the schedule and doing it in the three days instead of four,” he said.

Hayes said the city of Tampa brought in about 2,000 additional officers for the duration of the convention.

“I am standing here right now and 10 deputies are walking by. On a lot of the corners you have the National Guard,” he said.

Along with Hayes representing the 26th Congressional District, are delegates Gilbert Vasquez, Read King, Renee Stoltenberg, Troy Christianson, David Watrous and Denton County Republican Party chairwoman Dianne Edmondson serving as alternates.

Hayes and some other delegates are staying in a hotel north of Tampa and ride a bus to the convention site.

Those buses pass through checkpoints with hydraulic fence gates and bomb-sniffing dogs searching the vehicles.

A member of law enforcement rides on every bus, Hayes said.

Hayes was surprised to not see any protesters after the first day.

“In New York, you saw quite a few in various places,” he said. “I am sure they are here somewhere; I just haven’t seen them yet.”

Tuesday’s agenda included the credentials committee approving the people who have the right to vote, the rules committee report, the platform report and then nominations for presidential candidate.

“Wednesday night will be Paul Ryan [speaking], and Thursday night Romney will do his acceptance speech,” Hayes said.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is .