Local residents attend Republican Convention

By LISA CAPOBIANCO

STAFF WRITER

Three local residents flocked to Cleveland, Ohio recently to represent Connecticut during the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Local alternate delegates State Representative Cara Pavalock (R-Bristol), and Board of Finance member Jake Carrier, along with his wife, Francine Carrier, attended the convention, which took place from July 18 to 21.

“It was truly an honor and a privilege,” said Pavalock. “This was my first convention so the experience was new to me and was definitely something I will never forget.”

For the Carriers, representing Connecticut at such an historic event for the first time was an honor.

“The city of Cleveland welcomed us with open arms,” said the Carriers, who own By Carrier, a new home construction company. “We felt right at home with the locals, who treated us with utmost respect and hospitality.”

Despite the rallies outside the convention that broke out with angry words and a small number of demonstrators openly carrying guns on the first day, no violence erupted, reported the Associated Press. On the second day of the convention, police broke up groups of demonstrators who tried making their ways toward the event, according to the AP.

Pavalock said the high level of security was “by far the most noticeable aspect about the convention,” which was held at the Quicken Loans Arena.

“There was a barrier of about a quarter mile in between the convention and the public,” said Pavalock. “During certain times of the day no vehicles whatsoever, including delegate buses were allowed within the barrier. If there were protests, no one knew about them because they were so far away.”

She added that at the one entrance that was close to the public, security formed a human corridor three rows deep of police officers so there was no chance of anyone getting near the convention.

“In addition to agents from the FBI, Homeland Security, Customs, ATF, TSA and Secret Service, there were over 3,000 police officers from around the country to assist the Cleveland Police Department,” said Pavalock. “Not a second went by where I didn’t feel safe.”

The Carriers said the level of security was nothing like they ever experienced before.

“There was not one doubt of safety in our minds,” they said. “Law enforcement was extremely well-organized at protecting the convention from all angles. At the same time, they were extremely friendly and helpful.”

Hosting approximately 2,470 delegates and 2,302

alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories, the convention featured a different theme each day, including “Make America Safe Again.” Donald Trump accepted the presidential nomination on the second day of the convention, and his vice presidential nominee, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, addressed the crowd on the third night of the convention.

From Trump’s children and his wife Melania to the mothers of those killed in Benghazi to “Happy Days” actor Scott Baio, the convention featured a variety of speakers.

Among other speakers were New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, House Speaker Paul Ryan,  former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and many more who showed their support for Trump. On the closing night of the convention, Trump made his acceptance speech for about an hour and 15 minutes, which is the longest acceptance speech in many years.

The Carriers said all of the speakers were great, but Pence’s speech stood out the most for them.

“We started out not knowing one thing about the VP candidate,” said the Carriers, adding that they also enjoyed seeing the love and respect that Trump’s family showed for the presidential candidate. “His speech revealed, among many other things, that he was deeply family-oriented, which resonates with us.”

Pavalock said she particularly enjoyed listening to Pat Smith, the mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith, as well as Giuliani, Peter Theil, the creator of Paypal, and Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.

“Each had a different relationship with Trump,” said Pavalock, adding that Trump’s speech exceeded everyone’s expectations. “Their unique perspectives made their speeches very powerful.”

But when Texas Senator Ted Cruz took the stage, he still did not endorse Trump, addressing the nation to “vote their conscience” this November. The primary runner-up candidate received a number of boos from the crowd, including from the New York delegation.

The Carriers said the overall mood of the crowd during the event was “overwhelmingly passionate” and “patriotic.”

“The people we spoke to spoke from the heart about issues that concern them, but overall, everyone shared the same frustrations with the government establishment,” they said.

“It was very inspiring to see so many people who are just as passionate about our country and excited about the upcoming election as I am,” added Pavalock. “It was great to see that passion expressed in different ways, whether it was through their patriotic clothing, the signs they held or in their overall attitude.”

Pavalock said her favorite part of the convention happened when the states announced which candidate(s) they were casting their vote for.

“It struck a chord to hear the pride in the delegates’ voices when they described their state/territory and know that at the same time we can all come together as one country,” said Pavalock. “It truly makes us unique and makes me proud to be an American.”alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories, the convention featured a different theme each day, including “Make America Safe Again,” and “Make America First Again.” Donald Trump accepted the presidential nomination on the second day of the convention, and his vice presidential nominee, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, addressed the crowd on the third night of the convention.

From Trump’s children and his wife Melania to the mothers of those killed in Benghazi to “Happy Days” actor Scott Baio, the convention featured a variety of speakers.

Other speakers included New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and many more who showed their support for Trump. On the closing night of the convention, Trump made his acceptance speech for about an hour and 15 minutes, which is the longest acceptance speech in many years.

The Carriers said all of the speakers were great, but Pence’s speech stood out the most for them.

“We started out not knowing one thing about the VP candidate,” said the Carriers, adding that they also enjoyed seeing the love and respect that Trump’s family showed for the presidential candidate. “His speech revealed, among many other things, that he was deeply family-oriented, which resonates with us.”

Pavalock said she particularly enjoyed listening to Pat Smith, the mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith, as well as Giuliani, Peter Theil, the creator of Paypal, and Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.

“Each had a different relationship with Trump, whether it was as a business owner, daughter or friend,” said Pavalock, adding that Trump’s speech exceeded everyone’s expectations. “Their unique perspectives made their speeches very powerful.”

As one of her top priorities as a state representative is improving support systems for veterans, Pavalock said it was encouraging to have a whole day dedicated to the military during the theme, “Make America Safe Again.”

“I was very pleased to hear Trump address the issue of veteran care in his speech,” said Pavalock, adding that she also enjoyed meeting U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, who also is a veteran. “I walked away knowing that the issues that are important to my community are also important to the candidate we are endorsing for president.”

But when Texas Senator Ted Cruz took the stage, he still did not endorse Trump, addressing the nation to “vote their conscience” this November. The primary runner-up candidate received a number of boos from the crowd, including from the New York delegation.

The Carriers, who were impressed with the overall organization of the convention itself, said the overall mood of the crowd during the event was “overwhelmingly passionate” and “patriotic.”

“The people we spoke to spoke from the heart about issues that concern them, but overall, everyone shared the same frustrations with the government establishment,” they said.

“It was very inspiring to see so many people who are just as passionate about our country and excited about the upcoming election as I am,” added Pavalock. “It was great to see that passion expressed in different ways, whether it was through their patriotic clothing, the signs they held or in their overall attitude.”

Pavalock said her favorite part of the convention happened when the states announced which candidate(s) they were casting their vote for.

“It struck a chord to hear the pride in the delegates’ voices when they described their state/territory and know that at the same time we can all come together as one country,” said Pavalock. “It truly makes us unique and makes me proud to be an American.”

Republican Convention

Three residents from Bristol had a bird’s eye view at the Republican National Convention.