TAMPA- Wood County is well represented among the delegates at the Republican National Convention in Florida.
Bob Fish of Parkersburg is among six Wood County citizens representing West Virginia at the convention, which is expected to officially name Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan as the Republican candidates for president and vice president.
''Barbara (his wife) and I arrived in Florida today as the forecasts indicated (Tropical Storm) Isaac would be arriving in the Tampa Bay area on Monday, the scheduled day of the opening of the convention,'' Bob Fish said in an email sent Monday. ''As you've probably heard on national news, they are essentially postponing the opening by one day.''
Delegates Allen Ross and Bob Fish, along with alternate Lewis Rexroad, at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., wearing coal miner helmets. The state delegation is making a statement on the importance coal has in the state and its future by wearing the helmets at the major events during the convention.
Convention officials officially convened the start of the convention on Monday and immediately recessed activities until today. Officials cited ensuring the safety of those attending as well as the citizens of the Tampa Bay area by leaving emergency resources and personnel in place to handle storm-related issues, as the reason for the delay.
Fish said officials made the right decision to condense the convention to three days. Monday there was rain, wind, sunny conditions at times and it was humid. A tornado was reported to the south of Tampa and officials are continuing to monitor weather conditions.
Fish said Monday evening that excitement was high among those attending early events and gatherings.
''There is no question, people are excited,'' he said.
The delegates from West Virginia are wearing Romney/Ryan T-shirts.
West Virginia is being treated well by having a hotel close to the convention center because of the support the state has shown to Republican candidates in recent years, Fish said.
The West Virginia delegation is planning to wear coal miner helmets during events at the convention to show its support for coal, which many said President Obama's administration has declared war on.
''We will be wearing them every night,'' Fish said. ''It is a very important issue in West Virginia.''
U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., was in Parkersburg Monday meeting with residents to discuss issues.
McKinley said he was not planning on attending the convention in Florida, but said he was looking forward to hearing the speeches, including by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who will give the convention's keynote address.
''When Chris Christie starts you have to smile, because he tells you right what has to be talked about,'' McKinley said. ''People need to pay attention because he will talk about things that need to be addressed.''
McKinley said the Romney/Ryan campaign is getting people talking about issues that need to be discussed.
Ryan was not the first person McKinley would have picked for the vice president's post, but joked that no one asked him for his opinion.
McKinley said he liked Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida as potential candidates.
However, McKinley said he likes the debate Ryan is generating.
''What I like is Ryan is willing to bring up very sensitive subjects and talk about them,'' he said of subjects in Washington, D.C., that people don't want to discuss.
''We have to talk about some of these things,'' McKinley said. ''(Ryan) is willing to talk about them.
''I don't necessarily agree with everything he is saying, but I admire someone who says 'that needs to be fixed, let's talk about it.'''
Romney and Ryan have said they are going to look at Medicare, Social Security and other programs.
The nation is overspending by over a trillion dollars annually, the congressman said.
''We have got to get that under control,'' McKinley said. ''(Romney and Ryan) are at least talking about it.
''Why not begin that dialogue? We are not hearing that from the other side.''