State Sen. Davis to attend GOP convention, address pre-gathering rally

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State Sen. Davis to attend GOP convention, address pre-gathering rally

By CASEY CONLEY
cconley@ilsandpacket.com
Published Saturday, August 25, 2012   |  609 Words  |  

As a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, state Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, will be present next week when Mitt Romney accepts the party's nomination for president.

But before the convention begins, Davis will address at least 10,000 people at a rally hosted Sunday by Texas congressman and two-time Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Davis, who is preparing a speech critical of the Federal Reserve and U.S. monetary policy, will share the stage at University of South Florida's Sun Dome with Paul; Paul's son, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; and U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan, among others.

"The entire convention I am excited about, but I was honored to be asked to be one of about 10 people to speak at that rally," Davis said Friday. "I think Ron Paul has done a lot to shape the agenda this fall."

Davis and Paul, who share many libertarian policy views, have known each other for some time. Davis endorsed Paul for president in January, and earlier this month, Paul hosted a fundraiser for Davis in Columbia that drew about 400 people.

The Republican National Convention begins Monday and runs through Thursday in Tampa, Fla. Gov. Nikki Haley is scheduled to speak, while Romney is expected to accept the nomination Thursday night barring interference from Hurricane Isaac, which could expedite the schedule.

David Smith, operations manager for the S.C. Republican Party, said the state is sending 25 delegates and 24 alternates to the convention. Half of the state's delegates were stripped by the national party for holding its GOP presidential primary early.

The state's delegation will stay at a hotel in Clearwater, about 40 minutes away from downtown Tampa.

Just days before the convention starts, Davis said, several scheduling and technical issues remain unsettled, including whether the state's delegation will be required to vote for Newt Gingrich -- who won the primary -- or if it can support presumptive nominee Mitt Romney. Gingrich could release his delegates, allowing them to support Romney.

3 TO ATTEND DNC

Davis is the county's lone delegate to the GOP convention, but three county residents will travel next month to Charlotte to nominate President Barack Obama for a second term.

Beaufort County Democratic Party chairman Blaine Lotz, two-time congressional candidate Rob Miller and South of the Broad Democratic Club secretary John Giles are among the state's 67 delegates for the event, which runs from Sept. 4 to 6.

Although this will be the first time Lotz has attended the convention as a delegate, he participated in the 1964 Democratic convention in Atlantic City that nominated Lyndon Johnson for his first and only full term as president.

"It was kind of an educational experience," Lotz, a former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, said Friday. "I was in college at the time. We got to go, and we were able to be on the floor of the convention."

Lotz, who lives on Hilton Head Island, said he expects to meet and network with other Democrats from around the state and country. He also hopes to learn some new strategies to get more Democrats elected in Beaufort County.

Follow reporter Casey Conley at twitter.com/EyeOnBeaufortCo.

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