-Inside Pitch
6:36 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

Rain, wind doesn't stop the party in Tampa

With Tropical Storm Isaac about to pass by Tampa Bay in the Gulf of Mexico Monday, Ohio's delegation to the Republican National Convention streamed into a resort hotel on the north side of Tampa Sunday, and had barely unpacked their bags before the partying began.

A half dozen buses lined up outside the Mainsail Suites and Conference Center - home to the Ohio delegation this week - to take them across Tampa Bay to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg for "The Welcome Event," a three-hour extravaganza of music and entertainment meant to kick off the party convention.

But Isaac has already put a halt to the planned start of the convention Monday, which will reconvene on Tuesday, after the storm has passed.

Sunday afternoon, there were dark clouds, sporadic rains and high winds as Isaac approached.

Delta Flight 1530, which left the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport about 11:40 a.m. Sunday, was loaded with high-profile delegates and GOP leaders - Sen. Rob Portman and his wife Jane, former Ohio gubernatorial candidate and Cincinnati mayor J. Kenneth Blackwell, Hamilton County GOP chairman Alex Triantafilou, former Kentucky senator Jim Bunning, Hamilton County commissioner Greg Hartmann, and Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters, among others.