TAMPA, Florida -- A lot of familiar names from Idaho are in Tampa right now for the Republican National Convention, like Lieutenant Governor Brad Little and Governor C.L. Butch Otter.

Analysts say the Convention isn't much more than a rally, but it is the biggest rally of the year, so it's also a big opportunity for the state.

Idaho Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) is also one of 32 members of Idaho's delegation in Tampa.

I've been to a number of these conventions, and they're a little bit like legislative sessions, said Risch. They're all exactly the same in some ways, but they all have their own personality.

The old function of the Republican and Democratic conventions was to actually pick a presidential candidate, using delegates from all states that had been won in caucuses. They still technically do that. But, as is normal, we've known for months that Mitt Romney is the Republicans' guy, although he will officially accept the nomination at the Convention. Analysts say the real purpose of these conventions now is to rally and put the party's platform on display in a big way. But, how does this affect Idahoans?

Idaho's 32 delegates is a pretty good number for a state with this population. Also, Risch says, besides the delegates, there's more Idahoans just there for rally, than he's ever seen. He believes it's mainly because of their concerns over the economy.

In Idaho, just like throughout America, people are angry, and they're frightened, said Risch. They don't want this country to continue down this spiral of borrowing 42-cents of every dollar it spends, and running up the national debt four billion dollars a day.

Also, Risch says there's a lot of important conversations going on in regards to what the agenda would be in the Senate, if Republicans can take control after November.

If we are able to take over the Senate, we're going to have to govern, and we're going to have to do it in a responsible manner, said Risch. That's what the discussion is.

Also making up the delegation, besides elected state leaders, are their families, like first lady Lori Otter, and Jason and Vicki Risch.

The Democratic National Convention is next week in North Carolina. Idaho will send 31 delegates there, highlighted by Idaho Senator Elliot Werk and state party chair Larry Grant.

Read or Share this story: