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Weston GOP Official: Connecticut Is In Play As Convention Opens

Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort meets with Weston RTC Chairman Bob Ferguson at breakfast at the Republican National Convention. Manafort said Donald Trump has put many typically blue states into play — including Connecticut. Photo Credit: Bob Ferguson
A delegate from Arizona comes dressed for the occasion at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Photo Credit: Bob Ferguson
From left: CT GOP Chairman J.R. Romano; National State Party Director at the RNC, Matt Pinnell; Weston RTC Chairman Bob Ferguson; and convention delegate from New Canaan, Kevin Moynihan at the Canterbury Golf Club in Ohio. Photo Credit: Bob Ferguson
Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort speaks at the Tuesday breakfast of the Connecticut delegation. Photo Credit: Bob Ferguson

WESTON, Conn. — Weston Republican Town Chairman Bob Ferguson is an alternate delegate at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Here is his dispatch from Day 1 .

Wow! What an amazing  — and long — day at the Republican National Convention!

We started the day at 6:45 a.m. Monday, heading out for an outing at the Canterbury Golf Club with several delegates from Connecticut and members of the Republican National Committee. The club, one of the oldest in Ohio, has hosted many PGA and Senior PGA events. It was a great way to meet other members of the delegation and senior RNC party members. Others had a private tour and presentation at the Garfield National Historic Home and Memorial.

Later, we headed over to the Quicken Loans Arena for an exciting and inspiring day and evening program. There was an early convention session attended primarily by delegates to approve committee rules and to hear from senior Republican Party leaders. If you've been following the convention, you no doubt have heard of the "drama" that took place with the proposed adoption of the committee rules report.

The rules committee had previously voted (in a landslide) to keep the convention delegates bound to the results of their state primaries and caucuses on the first vote. Despite failing in the rules committee, the anti-Trump movement made a last ditch effort to call for a roll call vote on the rules package. Two voice votes were taken, and the majority was clearly in favor of passing the rules. Now, you might have sensed something different based on the press coverage. However, I watched no fewer than 30 media cameras flock to the Virginia, Colorado and Utah delegations and maintain constant coverage of those complaining. Certainly, they were upset, but they were a clear minority and the rules package and platform were passed.

After the mid-day session, the convention broke for dinner to reconvene in the evening. The Connecticut delegation had a group dinner planned at a restaurant in Cleveland's "Little Italy," which I would highly recommend if you ever visit the city.

One of the amazing "rising stars" of the convention is the Cleveland Police Department. Before the convention, there were many concerns about protesters and potential security issues at the convention. I have to say that the Cleveland P.D. has done a monumental job of keeping everyone safe while still providing an environment that allows everyone to practice their right of free speech.

They brought in thousands of additional police officers from all around the country. I saw a line of no fewer than 50 California officers marching toward an area, all to cheers of appreciation and applause from convention-goers. That appreciation of the brave men and women that make up the "Thin Blue Line" culminated when Sheriff David Clarke from Milwaukee addressed the convention Monday evening.

The evening session followed the theme of "Make America Safe Again." We heard from Navy SEAL hero Marcus Luttrell, Benghazi heroes Mark "Oz" Geist and John Tiegen, along with a host of mothers and family members who have lost loved ones to terrorism and violence as a result of the current administration's policies. The evening's excitement crescendoed with a rousing speech from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani that everyone should re-watch on YouTube !

The night ended with a beautiful speech by Melania Trump, after she was introduced by a remarkably short introduction from her husband (and the presumptive GOP nominee,) Donald J. Trump. Melania's speech was a very moving story of an immigrant who became a successful model, came to America, became a legal American citizen and now is unbelievably proud of her country and the opportunity and freedom that can only be found in America.

— Bob Ferguson, Weston RTC Chairman

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