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Local lawmakers excited to be delegate at GOP National Convention

Republicans have opened their four day convention in Cleveland where they'll nominate Donald Trump to be the party's presidential standard-bearer in November.


Danbury State Senator Mike McLachlan is one of the delegates from Connecticut.  He said he feels like a kid going to Disney for the first time, everything is exciting.  He notes that so far he is enjoying the experience and is honored to be a delegate.  McLachlan's great-grandfather was a delegate at the 1924 Republican convention, also held in Cleveland. 


McLachlan says they received a warm welcome from the host city Sunday night.  There was a greeting party, fireworks and performances by the Doobie Brothers, Three Dog Night and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  He and a group visited the President James Garfield homestead Monday morning.  McLachlan says the delegation is some 100 strong. 


In between speakers, loud music pumped throughout the basketball arena. A band set off to the side of the stage played covers of popular bands.  At other times, Republican governors from across the nation were featured on video screens throughout the arena, including some governors who are not participating in the formal convention program. They include John Kasich of Ohio and Susana Martinez of New Mexico, who are in Cleveland this week, but boycotting Trump's convention.


Melania Trump, wife of the candidate, addressed the delegates.  The higher profile-speakers, such as actors Scott Baio and Duck Dynasty star Will Robertson also took the stage Monday night.


Republicans are reminding the nation that Hillary Clinton was secretary of state during the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, part of a broader focus on national security at the GOP convention.  Pat Smith, whose son Sean Smith was killed in the assaults, is one of several speakers Monday night tied to the twin attacks that left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

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Markley van Camp Robbins

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