Next week 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternate delegates will head to Tampa, Florida for the 40th Republican National Convention where the GOP will nominate its presidential and vice presidential candidates for this November's .
"This is my first National Convention representing the Republican Party," Tony Pancella, a life-long Lindenhurst resident, told Patch on Thursday.
Delegates, he said, are allowed to bring a couple of guests to the RNC, which is set for August 27 to 30, and he was happy to be able to share this experience with his family.
"I'm excited to be on the floor," said Pancella. "My 14-year-old granddaughter and her father will be there, too."
The only thing that might threaten to put a damper on the experience is Tropical Storm Isaac.
The latest forecast map, according to , shows the storm - projected to be a hurricane - Southwest of Tampa Bay by 8 p.m. on Monday.
Pancella said there's been regular correspondence between the RNC organizers and the delegates, and he said there'll be more information about the storm between today and Sunday.
According to the CNN Political Blog on Thursday, RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer said on CNN's Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien, "We do have contingency plans to deal with weather-related and other circumstances that might occur to ensure the business can go on at the RNC."
The Delegate Experience
In the meantime Pancella and his fellow delegates will head to Tampa where they’ll have a seat on the Convention floor and will attend various convention sessions, according to the RNC 2012 website.
"During the day at the Convention, there'll be various groups and discussions for networking and to talk about the issues. Most of the activity will be at night between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.," he said.
In addition to the official convention proceedings, said the RNC 2012 website, many state Republican parties organize activities for their delegation members.
However, Pancella's specific activities will be clearer as he arrives at the RNC. His main function as a delegate, of course, is to vote for a nominee for the 2012 presidential election, which is the ticket of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney and his , Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Romney and Ryan
It was Romney's impending nomination that prompted Pancella to become a delegate.
"As the chairman of the Babylon Town GOP, I believe in Romney, and believe we need a change," said Pancella, who was asked by the chairman of the Suffolk GOP - John Jay LaValle - to be one of three delegates who'll represent the Third Congressional District (now the Second Congressional District) - the one represented by .
He was chosen after first applying to the Suffolk Republican Committee for a delegate spot.
The Babylon Town GOP chairman feels good about his delegate role, and about Romney's chances.
"Romney has a very good chance to be a great president," he said, noting many of President Obama's promises haven't been filled.
Pancella also likes Ryan for vice president.
"Ryan was picked after a long vetting process. He's young, and he restores the conservative base. I think he's a great choice," he said.
Look for updates from Tony Pancella next week on Patch from the 2012 Republican National Convention, August 27 to 30: