GOP Convention: the opportunity of a lifetime

Debbie and I had the opportunity of a lifetime last week when we were honored to represent Colorado in Tampa, Fla., at the Republican National Convention. I include Debbie in this representation because she was my guest and none of this would have happened if I had not had her support. Colorado was represented by 36 delegates and 36 alternates. Each of us were allowed to bring one guest. The Colorado delegation stayed in Clearwater, Fla., and were bused across the bay to the Tampa convention center every day.

We had excellent speakers every morning during breakfast at our hotel. Some of those speakers were former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, Colorado House Speaker Frank McNulty, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, Ari Fleischer (White House press secretary for George W. Bush), and several U.S. Olympians who were in the Salt Lake Winter Olympics.

Noted speakers during the main sessions of the convention in addition to those mentioned above were Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Ann Romney, Ohio congressman and Speaker of the House John Boehner, Clint Eastwood, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Florida Rep. Connie Mack, former President George Bush, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Arizona Sen. John McCain, Kentucky senator and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, and of course the Republican vice-presidental nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan, and presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

There were also many other speakers and the overall theme was that America needs a change in leadership and Mitt Romney is the leader that we need. I listened to all of the speakers and was never bored. Each day of the convention had a different theme: “We Can Do Better,”“We Built It,”“We Can Change It,” and “We Believe In America.” Each session began and ended with a prayer.

It was interesting to learn of the humble beginnings of Mitt and Ann Romney and how his entire life has been in service to people in need, from helping a 14 year old with terminal cancer write a will to saving the Salt Lake Winter Olympics to, as Governor of Massachusetts, balancing a budget after years of deficit spending and leaving the state with a surplus. He never accepted a salary for his public service. Mitt Romney has also been a very successful businessman and he and Ann did it without any help from his likewise successful father. Whether elected president or not, he has lived a remarkable life.

I would like to conclude with a few quotes from the Republican Platform 2012 that we delegates adopted in Tampa. “The best jobs program is economic growth. We do not offer yet another made-in-Washington package of subsidies and spending to create temporary or artificial jobs.”

And ”We are the party of the Constitution, the solemn compact which confirms our God-given individual rights and assures that all Americans stand equal before the law.”


J. Paul Brown represents House District 59 in Colorado’s General Assembly. The district encompasses San Juan, Archuleta and La Plata counties and parts of Montezuma County. Contact Rep. Brown at (303) 866-2914 or by email at

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