I will be attending my third Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL, from Aug. 26-31.
I previously attended the 1996 and 2006 national conventions as an alternate delegate. I was elected from the 12th Congressional District which spans six counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. I was the highest vote-getter with over 29,000 votes cast for both delegate and alternate delegate positions between 14 people running.
The 12th Congressional District elected four delegates and four alternate delegates. Each congressional district normally elects three per district, but a handful elect four based on Republican turnout from the previous presidential election in the congressional districts every four years.
A delegate or alternate delegate is elected by Republican voters every four years in the April primary. Each candidate must secure at least 250 Republican signatures to make the primary ballot.
Then candidates' names are pulled from a "lot selection" to determine the ballot appearance. Each candidate has to file a $25 filing fee to the Pennsylvania Department of State for each position. Then nominating petitions must be notarized and taken to Harrisburg, PA, to make the ballot.
The process happens before the primary and you have 3 1/2 weeks to make the ballot. A candidate must gather the signatures in the winter months—normally January and February—when the weather is not the best.
The delegates and alternates are responsible for all their expenses, which can cost up to $2,000 to $3,000 for the national conventions. This covers airfare, host hotel expenses and costs paid to the Republican Party of Pennsylvania for food, ground transportation and various activites.
It can be a costly five to six days while attending.
The local and state Republican parties do not cover any costs at all. This is solely up to the delegates and alternates who got elected from their congressional districts.
I have been active in the North Hills in the Republican Party for over 20 years.
I have been on the Hampton Republican Committee since 2008 as an elected GOP Committeman from District 11. In addition, I am the elected Republican State Committeeman from the 40th Senate District, which encompasses 12 townships and boroughs in the North Hills.
I am humbled and honored to represent the Republican voters of the 12th Congressional District at the Republican National Convention in Tampa this month.
It is a privilege to attend.
I will be blogging from the convention for Patch.