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Maine's delegates say Republican National Convention has been 'uplifting'

Six of Maine's Republican delegates are in Charlotte, NC for the RNC this week. Delegates describe a convention filled with coronavirus precautions.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Maine GOP Chair Dr. Demi Kouzounas says the Republican National Convention normally has an atmosphere she'd describe as "the Superbowl of politics." In 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, however, she says it looks much different.

"We're being very careful because we understand there is a coronavirus pandemic that has affected all of us and we all want to protect each other because we care about each other... There are no daily caucuses or daily meetings or anything else. We're just getting business in hand and getting the job done because that's why we're here."

On a press call Monday afternoon, RNC Committeeman Josh Tardy echoed her thoughts. "I agree, there are certainly a lot less people here," says Tardy, who has attended two previous conventions. 

Tardy says, "It's certainly a different convention because of the coronavirus, but we're making the most of this opportunity. The accordance with safety protocols is very impressive."

Despite the coronavirus protocols, Kouzounas says it has been a lively atmosphere in Charlotte.

"I thought it was very uplifting, everyone was very excited," she said of the President's speech. "He was interrupted a few times with people clapping. So I thought it was invigorating and fun and we're having a really good time here." 

Kouzounas says the convention is an important aspect of the presidential election process. 

"We are here because we care about our country. We care about our state and we care about who is elected president. For me, I drove down here, had two corona tests and have been wearing a mask the whole time because it was important to me to be here to make sure our 22 delegates from our party were given to Donald Trump so we can have four more years of Donald J. Trump."

Throughout the week, the Maine Democratic Party will be holding events in an effort to push back on the Republican National Convention.

Communications Director for the Biden Campaign in Maine Victoria Vinall says,  "We are launching Women For Biden Maine on Wednesday with a really exciting event and already a ton of RSVPs. On Thursday, we are launching Republicans for Biden Maine, and [Tuesday] we are hosting a small business roundtable to talk about Maine's key industries."

In a statement, Maine Dems told NEWS CENTER Maine: 

"Throughout the week, we’ll be highlighting Trump’s failure with Maine families, small businesses and union members, as well as threats to Maine people’s livelihoods with his attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and defund Social Security. On Thursday, we’re holding a roundtable discussion on Trump’s failure to make progress on mitigating the opioid crisis, despite declaring it a national emergency three years ago. We’ll also highlight how Trump’s permanent elimination of the payroll tax, if successful, would impact Maine people in towns and counties across the state.

The Biden campaign will be holding a virtual event to highlight Joe Biden’s plan to lead an economic recovery and build it back better than before for crucial Maine industries––elevating the voices of loggers, lobstermen, and small businesses owners who have been harmed by Trump’s reckless trade war and COVID response failure. They are also planning an event to showcase the ways Trump has failed Maine women and how Joe Biden will fight for them."

The Biden campaign in Maine will also be holding a virtual event to highlight Joe Biden's plans for the country if he is elected.

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