Republican National Convention Gets Underway Amid Fallout from Baton Rouge

Anti-Hillary Clinton protester Bob Kunst, 74, from Miami Beach, Florida, demonstrates outside of the Quicken Loans Arena. (Evan Garcia)Anti-Hillary Clinton protester Bob Kunst, 74, from Miami Beach, Florida, demonstrates outside of the Quicken Loans Arena. (Evan Garcia)

A motley group of Illinois Republicans, including Trump delegates, members of the "Never Trump" movement and elected officeholders who have tried to distance themselves from the Republican nominee are arriving Sunday in Cleveland on the eve of the 2016 Republican National Convention.

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The delegation has a full slate of events outside of the convention itself, and will hear from speakers that include former Republican candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and actress-turned-activist Stacey Dash.

Kasich will speak to the Illinois delegation at a dinner Monday evening in Cleveland.

"He's a great example of a Republican governor that turned a state around," said Kasich delegate and former Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady. "He took Ohio from a deficit to positive cash flow. Great example to the Illinois delegation of how to run a state."

Kasich, whom observers believe is positioning himself for a possible 2020 run for president, will also be speaking to the Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio delegations as well as the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

"He'd be a great candidate and tremendous example of Republican principals," Brady said. "Once you get that bug running for president, it's hard to give it up."

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The convention begins as the city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, reels from the news Sunday of three police officers shot dead. It's had a ripple effect on public safety in Cleveland as tens of thousands descend on the city. Protests have been going on all day and are expected to continue throughout the week.

"Our officers have been on a heightened state of awareness for their own safety," said Cleveland Police Department Public Information Officer Jennifer Ciaccia. "Right now they are deployed in groups in a partnered effort. All of our responses are going out in two man cars."

States as far away as California and Florida have sent law enforcement to Cleveland to help maintain security around the convention arena and in the city center.

See a list of all Trump, Cruz and Kasich delegates in Illinois

Join “Chicago Tonight” for continued coverage of the Republican National Convention all week.

Follow Paris Schutz on Twitter: @paschutz

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