500+ Ohioans Expected To Attend RNC

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The Republican National Convention begins today and local party chair Pete Couladis says it's an exciting time.

Exciting in the sense that with the convention comes a growing interest in the presidential campaign.
"The people that will watch the convention and listen to the speakers will get excited, will now start thinking about the presidential campaign where people prior to this time of the year don't pay much attention in the primaries and after the primaries. So, now things are going to start racheting up, there will be more people showing interest, people wanting materials where they weren't paying much attention before," said Couladis.
Last week, the campaign was all about abortion and controversial remarks by a US Senate candidate from Missouri.
If he stays in the race, Couladis says that could dominate the convention.
"I think the best thing for him to do is to get out and there are a couple other candidates who ran in that primary and come up another candidate just to take care of, eliminate that issue because it really is not an issue because one candidate some place said something stupid," said Couladis.
An estimated 500-plus Ohioans are expected at attend the convention, but possible harsh weather from the passing tropical storm has altered plans somewhat for Ohio's delegates to the convention in Tampa, Fla.
Officials said a planned Monday night dinner party featuring Senate President Tom Niehaus and House Speaker Bill Batchhelder at Tampa's historic Columbia restaurant near downtown would turn into a scaled-down event at the headquarters hotel instead. The approaching storm already led the GOP to cancel all events at the arena Monday except for a symbolic, 10-minute opening.
Tampa was expected to get a good drenching and possibly some high winds as Tropical Storm Isaac sweeps by in the Gulf of Mexico Monday.
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman was among the scheduled speakers at an Ohio delegation breakfast Monday morning at the hotel.