Wisconsin set to play big role at GOP Nat'l Convention - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin set to play big role at GOP Nat'l Convention

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Delegates from 50 states, Washington, D.C. and five U.S. territories are gathered in Tampa, Florida for the Republican National Convention. But among them all, Wisconsin is attracting a pretty big share of the spotlight.

The pick of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate is a pretty big deal for the Badger state. But Wisconsin's national political presence extends beyond Ryan.

Gov. Scott Walker's recall victory helped score him a speaking slot at the convention for Tuesday night. Congressman Sean Duffy was scheduled to speak Monday, but because of the storm, he's now booked for Tuesday afternoon.

Duffy told Newsline 9 despite the storm, Republicans are upbeat.

"Out at hotels and different localities around Tampa, there is a lot of people, a lot of delegates, a lot of excitement, a lot of energy at this convention," he said.

That's especially the case among the Wisconsin delegation, said Duffy.

"Over this last year and a half, you've seen Wisconsin as somewhat of a political epicenter," he said.

Duffy says the state's hot political presence is paying off in at least one way.

"Usually Wisconsin, at the convention, is at one of the way back locations, with not so good seats," he said. "Wisconsin…now has one of the better locations on the floor."

And it isn't just Duffy, Walker, and Ryan who are putting Wisconsin on the political map. The Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, is from Kenosha.

Meantime, several Democrats are planning to crash the GOP convention, looking to spread their own message.

"This isn't going to be a walk in the park for either candidate. We've got our work cut out for us given the economy, and the fact that the country is so polarized," said Antonio Villaraigosa, Democratic National Convention chairman. "At the end of the day, it isn't   just about today, however. If you want to talk about the last 29 months, the economy has   been moving up."

The Democratic Party will hold its convention next week in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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