Convention delegates visit Cleveland prior to RNC

Convention delegates visit Cleveland prior to RNC
Transportation companies booked solid during Republican National Convention. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Republican representatives from 51 states and territories arrived in Cleveland Tuesday. They received a tour of the city, their hotel assignments and briefings on security and communications in advance of the convention.

The delegates toured the Cleveland Botanical Garden as a part of the welcome reception, took a trolley tour of the city, and toured Quicken Loans Arena.

The delegations also got their hotel assignments. Sixteen-thousand hotel rooms were booked for the RNC, and while most of the delegations will be within a half-hour of downtown, the one exception is the delegation from California. They will be in Sandusky, and representatives told Cleveland 19 that's because the delegation is so large and they all wanted to be together, so that was the only spot they could be assigned.

Delegates were also given security and communications briefings. National committeewoman Enid Mickelsen from Utah told Cleveland 19 she's confident from her knowledge of the security plan that the city and the convention will be safe.

"We want the people of Cleveland to be safe, just as we want the delegates to be safe. We want the people of Cleveland to have a good experience just as we want the delegates to have a good experience," said Mickelsen. "People have a right to express their opinion; they don't have the right to hurt other people while they're doing it."

Delegates repeated that they are prepared for the possibility of a contested convention.

"They're prepared to host an open and fair convention if in fact it is not decided by the time we get here in Cleveland and I think that no one has anything to be worried about because because of that we will be united behind whoever emerges as our nominee to defeat Hillary Clinton in November," said Mike Duffey, the executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Mickelsen echoed that the party is ready if there is a contested convention, but wouldn't speculate beyond that. She said her first round ballot is bound for Ted Cruz, but if there is an additional ballot she won't say who she would vote for.

"Nobody will know how I vote until I cast that vote," said Mickelsen.

Another positive spin on the possibility of a contested convention came from Glenn McCall, a Republican national committeeman from South Carolina. He pointed out that the historic campaign thus far has provided a lot of publicity for the city.

"Cleveland is mentioned probably 500 times a day on national television, what great exposure and it's just going to be a great event for the city and for Republicans," said McCall. "I think all the challenges we have we're turning them into opportunities and we're gonna put on a great show -- great show for the world."

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