Advertisement
  1. Florida Politics

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn welcomes GOP convention

Published Aug. 29, 2012

TAMPA — Mayor Bob Buckhorn on Tuesday welcomed the Republican National Convention to his city, saying "your faith and trust in us is much appreciated."

In his three-minute speech, Buckhorn skipped over the fact that he's a Democrat, instead greeting "my fellow Americans who have traveled from every corner of this great country to be here."

He recalled Tampa's working-class roots, saying it was built by immigrant cigar makers and longshoremen.

Then he touted the city's economic vigor, its connection to MacDill Air Force Base and its future, which he said lies with science, technology and medicine.

"I can tell you with certainty that we are open for business and we are ready to embrace all that the future holds," Buckhorn said. "I trust you will fall in love with our city, just as I do every day. Have a great week in Tampa."

Also speaking was Al Austin, the Tampa developer who led the effort to bring the convention to town.

"You may know that we were finalists for the last two conventions," which ended up going to New York and St. Paul, Minn., Austin told delegates. "Apparently, the third time is the charm."

With more than 15,000 journalists covering the convention, Austin said he is "pleased that Tampa Bay will no longer be the best-kept secret in the world."

"For me, to stand on this stage, in this city, is the realization of a long-time dream," he said.

Austin, 83, who was a delegate at the GOP's last Florida convention, 1972 in Miami Beach, and a delegate or alternate at every convention since then, said the RNC coming to Tampa will stimulate the economy and "have a significant impact on the future of our region."

"Because you chose us, thousands of people have the opportunity to get to know our people, our businesses, our attractions and our food," he said. "You're creating jobs for caterers, waiters, taxi drivers, and so many more Floridians. And you're filling up hotel rooms that often sit empty after the summer tourism season ends."

Most important, Austin said, "come back often."

The compliments went both ways.

"We're just thrilled to be here and we're humbled by your hospitality," Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Visitors head to Florida's Old Capitol building on Tuesday, the first day of the annual session. The same day, the advocacy group Equality Florida denounced four bills filed by Republican lawmakers, calling them “the most overtly anti-LGBTQ agenda from the Florida legislature in recent memory.” [SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Most of the bills try to eliminate local ordinances, and Republicans say they’ve been unfairly labeled.
  2. Attorney Joseph Bondy tweeted this photo of his client, Lev Parnas (right) with former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi on Friday, Jan. 17. Bondi on Friday was named on of President Donald Trump's impeachment lawyers. [Twitter]
    Parnas’ lawyer tweeted out the photo of the former Florida attorney general along with #TheyAllKnew.
  3. In this Feb. 22, 2018 file photo, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, speaks to reporters outside the West Wing in Washington. President Donald Trump's legal team will include Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general, former Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, the former independent counsel who led the Whitewater investigation into President Bill Clinton, according to a person familiar with the matter. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) [J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE  |  AP]
    The former Florida attorney general reportedly will join former Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton.
  4. Florida Senator Rob Bradley, R- Fleming Island, watches the action on the first day of the session, 1/14/2020.  [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    A popular bill would allow judges to dole out punishments less than the mandatory minimum sentences spelled out in state law for many drug crimes if the defendant meets certain criteria.
  5. Vice President Mike Pence take selfies with supporters after giving a campaign speech during the "Keep America Great" rally at the Venetian Event Center at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, January 16, 2020.  [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    ‘Come November the American people are going to have our say,’ Pence said.
  6. Rep. Stan McClain, an Ocala Republican, presents a bill that would allow Florida public colleges and universities to sponsor charter schools, during a January 2020 meeting of the House PreK-12 Innovation subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    Alternative authorizers have been found unconstitutional in the past. But that isn’t stopping the effort.
  7. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, members of the Florida Cabinet, left, and the Florida Supreme Court, right, stand at attention as the colors are posted in the Florida Senate during the first day of the Florida legislative session in Tallahassee, Tuesday, January 14, 2020.  [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    The court ruled that Amendment 4‘s “all terms of sentence” include the payment of all court fees, fines and restitution.
  8. Thousands rallied and marched from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center to the Florida Historic Capitol to demand more money for public schools Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. Thousands of school workers from around the state thronged Florida's Capitol on Monday to press Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature to more than double the nearly $1 billion the governor is proposing for teacher raises and bonuses.  (Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat via AP) [TORI LYNN SCHNEIDER  |  AP]
    The PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee cutting exercise would come in nearly 25 percent below Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal.
  9. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.,, center, speaks as fellow candidates businessman Tom Steyer, from left, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. listen, Tuesday during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) [PATRICK SEMANSKY  |  AP]
    The candidates’ proposals reveal differences in how they plan to approach the issue.
  10. Vice President Mike Pence points to supporters before speaking during a campaign rally at the Huntington Center, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in Toledo, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) [TONY DEJAK  |  AP]
    Vice President Mike Pence will take the stage in New Tampa, at the Venetian Event Center at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, at 1:30 p.m. It wasn’t planned that way.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement