Storm will force RNC into immediate recess - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Storm will force RNC into immediate recess

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Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Saturday that the party's convention, scheduled to begin Monday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, would be postponed. (Source: MGN) Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Saturday that the party's convention, scheduled to begin Monday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, would be postponed. (Source: MGN)

TAMPA, FL (RNN) - Tropical Storm Isaac has thrown its first major wrench into the plans for the Republican National Convention, even before events have gotten under way.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced Saturday that the convention will briefly convene Monday and immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon because of the threat of severe weather from the storm.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who had been scheduled to attend the convention Sunday and Monday and deliver a speech, also said he would cancel his plans for the event to prepare for the approaching storm, according to the Associated Press.

"After consulting with Gov. Scott, NOAA and local emergency management officials, we are optimistic that we will begin an exciting, robust convention that will nominate the Romney-Ryan ticket," Priebus said in a statement.

Weather experts have predicted Isaac would strengthen to hurricane force by the time it made landfall near Tampa on Monday.

Scott has already declared a state of emergency for the state. He said the declaration, given that the storm has not made landfall, was standard protocol to ensure coordination with all the necessary government authorities was in place. He plans to stay in Tampa to oversee efforts in preparation for the storm.

Isaac had already crossed the eastern coast of Cuba as of Saturday afternoon.

Tampa had expected about 50,000 people in town for the convention, amounting to a potential $200 million financial shot in the arm for the area.

Now the GOP and the city are in wait-and-see mode as the storm makes its way toward west Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Storm Isaac had wind gusts as high as 70 miles per hour and sustained winds of 60 miles per hour Saturday.

The storm is also affecting Democratic efforts in the state this weekend. The Obama campaign announced recently that Vice President Joe Biden's campaign stops in Tampa and other areas of Florida on Monday and Tuesday were canceled because of the threat of severe weather.

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