Many Republican delegates will be watching the convention from their couches this week — missing the usual excitement of convention parties, networking and seeing the president on stage.
Maria Vasquez, a chairman with Champaign County Young Republicans, is a first-time delegate who’s watching from home.
“I was disappointed that I wasn’t going to be there in person to attend all of this and get to know a lot of fellow Republicans and Trump supporters,” Vasquez said. “As the first night closed of the convention I was pretty pleased — I was able to watch it with my son and that’s a good experience as well.”
The party was also trying to appeal to voters by having a diverse group of speakers Monday.
That included speaker Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who spoke about his family, including his grandfather.
“He suffered the indignity of being forced out of school as a third grader to pick cotton and he never learned to read or write,” Scott said Monday night. “He lived long enough to see his first grandson become the first African American to be elected to the both United States House and the United States Senate in the history of this country. Our family went to cotton to Congress in one lifetime.”
Kevin Suggs, a first-time delegate and committeeman with the Bremen Township Republican Organization, said appealing to the base with diversity will be a winning strategy for the party.
“Every speaker had a diverse background. Not just African American or Black — every nationality,” he said. “We are a party of diversity.”