Hays residents head to GOP convention
By RANDY GONZALES
Ron Adams has increased the Weather Channel's ratings this week, all by himself.
Adams is an alternate, and his wife, Elaine, is a delegate at next week's Republican National Convention. The convention starts Monday and lasts through Thursday in Tampa, Fla.
Tampa also is where a possible hurricane could hit early next week. Tropical Storm Isaac is churning in the Caribbean, but its projected path is Florida, where it could reach hurricane strength.
"We have a hurricane coming for this one, so it's going to be interesting," Ron Adams said. "I've had the Weather Channel on. ... It looks like it's going to happen. So far it looks like a Category 1 (hurricane)."
Adams and his wife planned to leave Hays today so they could arrive in Florida early for some sight-seeing. They have traveled to Florida before, but never visited the west side of the state.
Ron Adams, 59, retired from the State Fire Marshal Office in October. This is the first trip to the national convention for both. He is looking forward to possibly rubbing elbows with some of the party heavyweights.
"Getting down on the floor, meeting some of the people, like Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, those people," he said. "Just excited about being there."
Elaine Adams, 58, has her eye set on meeting one person in particular.
"I've been told as a delegate on the floor we can mingle with all the national Republicans," she said. "I'm hoping against hope that I will get to meet Condoleezza Rice on the floor; she's one of my idols."
Ron Adams also is enthused about the ticket; he thinks Gov. Mitt Romney can get things done, if elected president.
"I'm hoping Romney gets in there, and I'm sure he'll do us a fine job compared to what Obama has done for us," Ron Adams said. "Just everything seems positive on Mitt Romney as far as being able to turn the money situation around, start paying the bills instead of trying to borrow more money from China."
Rep. Paul Ryan was a good choice for vice president, Ron Adams said.
"I think he's great," Ron Adams said. "He's a planner; he's not one to sit back and take it easy. He's a guy who comes up with plans and ideas, implements them."
When Ron Adams returns to Hays, it's time for some campaigning of his own. He is running against Dean Haselhorst for Ellis County Commission in the Third District.
"My feet are going to be tired; I'm going to be knocking door-to-door," Adams said.
First, it's dealing with Isaac. A Kansas tornado is more frightening to Elaine than any ol' hurricane. You don't know where a tornado will hit, but you know in advance about a hurricane, she reasons.
"This is going to be a first," she said of possibly being in Isaac's path. "I'm not afraid."