Local delegates ready for GOP convention

Evelyn Spencer and Mary Jane Aurdal are in St. Paul, Minn., today for the start of the Republican National Convention they know will differ greatly from the one they attended four years ago.

“This one is different because the White House is vacant,” said Spencer, an Everett resident making her fourth trip to a party convention and second as a delegate. “In 2004, we knew who the candidate was and we were pretty convinced we were going to win and we just had a good time.”

Aurdal, of Clinton, said, “The overall dynamic of this election is different.”

For the state’s contingent of 77 delegates and alternates, there’s no incumbent president to cheer on toward re-election in the four-day event, but there will be plenty of chances to applaud the presumptive nominee, Sen. John McCain.

There’s history to be made as Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is poised to become the first woman ever nominated to a presidential ticket of the Republican Party.

Then there’s a two-day counter convention in neighboring Minneapolis organized by backers of Rep. Ron Paul, one of the unsuccessful Republican presidential candidates. Paul will speak both days.

“This next week is going to be exciting,” said Dullain Erlich of Mill Creek, who is making her first trip to a convention. “I am going to experience it all. It’s a wonderful thing to be part of history.”

Erlich, Spencer and Aurdal are among eight delegates from Snohomish and Island counties. The others are Jason Bontrager of Snohomish, Doug Roulstone of Snohomish, Nathan Johnson of Everett, Iris Lilly of Marysville and Linda Sturza of Camano Island.

State Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser, who is a superdelegate, said he’s looking forward to the spotlight shining on Republicans after its focus last week on Democrats.

“It’s a great opportunity to steal some of the bump from the Democrats,” he said. “Even though John McCain is better known than Barack Obama, it is still a great opportunity to tell his story.”

There may be some interruptions and distractions.

Hurricane Gustav is bearing down on the Louisiana coast. The storm has already resulted in the cancellation of some events and could divert the emotion and attention of the GOP faithful from McCain’s scheduled acceptance speech.

Paul, who is not scheduled to appear at the national convention, will be addressing supporters Tuesday night in the 20,000-seat Target Center in Minneapolis. Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is among several people set to speak prior to Paul.

Delegate Doug Roulstone of Snohomish said Paul won’t be trying to upstage McCain or disturb the party’s convention.

“It’s certainly not Congressman Paul’s attempt to do that,” he said. “He has some delegates and they will be seated and I’m sure some of them will vote for Ron Paul.”

Talk to us

More in Local News

Cars move across Edgewater Bridge toward Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edgewater Bridge redo linking Everett, Mukilteo delayed until mid-2024

The project, now with an estimated cost of $27 million, will detour West Mukilteo Boulevard foot and car traffic for a year.

Lynn Deeken, the Dean of Arts, Learning Resources & Pathways at EvCC, addresses a large gathering during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cascade Learning Center on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New EvCC learning resource center opens to students, public

Planners of the Everett Community College building hope it will encourage students to use on-campus tutoring resources.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police chief to retire at the end of October

Chief Dan Templeman announced his retirement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He has been chief for nine years.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

Fatal 2-car crash closes Highway 99 in Lynnwood

Police closed off Highway 99 between 188th Street SW and 196th Street SW while they investigated.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Chap Grubb, founder and CEO of second-hand outdoor gear store Rerouted, stands inside his new storefront on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Gold Bar, Washington. Rerouted began as an entirely online shop that connected buyers and sellers of used gear.  (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Used outdoor gear shop Rerouted finds a niche in Gold Bar

Seeking to keep good outdoor gear out of landfills, an online reselling business has put down roots in Gold Bar.

Naval Station Everett. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Everett man sentenced to 6 years for cyberstalking ex-wife

Christopher Crawford, 42, was found guilty of sending intimate photos of his ex-wife to adult websites and to colleagues in the Navy.

Most Read