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Wisconsin GOP sends 250-member contingent and 42 delegates to convention

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news River Falls, 54022
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Wisconsin has a 250-member contingent and 42 delegates at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

The speeches won't begin until Tuesday, a day later than planned, due to the threat from tropical storm Isaac. As of Sunday night, it appeared the storm would not hit Tampa directly, but high winds and torrential rains were still possible as Isaac passes through the gulf.

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Under a revised schedule, Gov. Scott Walker will speak in prime time Tuesday night.

Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan of Janesville will speak Wednesday night.

The convention is still set to wrap up Thursday as originally scheduled, but party officials say plans could change, depending on the weather.

Former Milwaukee Catholic Archbishop Tim Dolan, who's now the archbishop of New York, will deliver the benediction after Romney's speech on Thursday night.

The chief architect of the convention is Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus from Kenosha. The Wisconsin delegation will have prime seats right across from the stage. RNC member Mary Buestrin of Mequon says they're the best seats Wisconsin has had in the last nine conventions she's attended.

U.S. House Republican Jim Sensenbrenner of Menomonee Falls had to scrap plans to attend the convention after he had hip surgery Sunday in Milwaukee.

His office said Sensenbrenner caught one of his feet in wires on Saturday when he went to meet with constituents in Butler. He broke bones near an elbow and a hip socket.

Walker gets rousing ovation, and protesters

While the convention won't get going until Tuesday, tropical storm Isaac has not stopped other political events from taking place. Gov. Scott Walker got a rousing reception when he spoke at a rally Sunday at the Tampa Theatre, put on by the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Group chairman Ralph Reed predicted a Mitt Romney victory in November and said, "We're going to see an election night that reminds you of the Wisconsin recall night."

That was when Gov. Walker defeated Democrat Tom Barrett by a bigger margin than he did when they first squared off for the office in 2010.

Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and Phyllis Schafly also spoke at the Faith and Freedom event.

Walker was the only one to draw protests. Right after he was introduced, a banner was dropped from the balcony saying, "Walker has a Koch problem," referring to the conservative billionaire financial backers David and Charles Koch.

Several dozen demonstrators chanted before police escorted them out.

Walker said it was a sample of the protests that dogged him for the last 18 months, after he proposed the bill that virtually ended collective bargaining for most Wisconsin public employee unions.

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