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Florida Delegates Soak Up OJ, Country Music And Independence

Attendees at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Attendees at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

The Florida delegates at the Republican National Convention are starting their long days with elaborate breakfasts. Day two of the convention was no exception.

With country music and orange juice, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam hosted an event at the delegation’s hotel in Independence, Ohio, just outside of convention headquarters.

Sixteen-year-old Devin Upadhy, of St. Petersburg, is joining the delegates to hear several speakers. He’s here with Junior State of America, a civics education group. He said he is excited to meet the Florida delegates.

“I’m just trying to experience what it’s like,” Upadhy said.

Above all, Upadhy said he was really looking forward to hearing Dr. Ben Carson speak.

Carson, who lives in Florida, focused on the theme of the day: Make America Work Again.

“We have two candidates. We have Hilary Clinton and we have Donald Trump," said Carson, a former candidate for the Republican nomination. "Now, I think Donald Trump is much more fiscally responsible from the things that he’s already said."

Naples resident Pricilla Warren Grannis said the speakers for Florida events have been interesting so far.

“From Dr. Ben Carson to Lt. Colonel Allen West to Sen. Tom Cotton, it doesn’t get any better,” Grannis said.

Between the chicken and waffles and mimosas being served, delegate Kathy Rapp, adorned in her Tim Tebow Gator jersey, was ready for the SEC State Tailgate function after the breakfast.

“I have a Trump hat that goes with this outfit," said Rapp, who is from Sebring.

Tebow was rumored to be a speaker at the RNC but later said he was not attending. While disappointed, Rapp understands.

Of Tebow, she said, “I would have loved to have had him but I know that he’s one that kind of stays under the political radar, and I respect that."



Caitie is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.