TAMPA, Florida -- During a volunteer pep rally on Saturday at the Straz Center, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said the city is ready with all but about half a percent of its preparations for the Republican National Convention. Adding to the excitement is the nomination of U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate.
"This builds the excitement. Now you get to see it really take shape," said Tampa Bay Host Committee President and CEO Ken Jones. "There's a ticket on both sides, it's not just one candidate and waiting for a VP. That gets the energy level up. It gets them really focused on the election."
They're focused on seven-term Congressman Paul Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee. The budget plan he authored earlier this year aimed to overhaul Medicare, lower the tax rate for top incomes, and put the country on course to balance the budget by 2040.
"I think Paul Ryan is a well-accepted candidate," said convention volunteer Brent Sheldon. "I think the people across the United States see that he was a great pick. And I love Rubio, but I still feel that he made a great choice."
With a vice presidental candidate declared, it puts more eyes on Tampa.
"I heard this morning when I was watching a replay of the speech, they said Tampa 13 times in five minutes. You can't buy that kind of publicity," said Jones.