© 2023 Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'You Will See A Vision For The Future:' Wisconsin RNC Delegates Back Trump

Jessica Koscielniak - Pool/Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on the first day of the Republican National Convention at the Charlotte Convention Center on August 24, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Donald Trump was nominated for president for the second time Monday at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte.

Most of the delegates voted remotely and will be watching the convention from home — due to coronavirus restrictions put in place by Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.

Several Wisconsin delegates, like Bob Spindell, describe what they’re expecting this week.

Spindell wears many hats. He’s GOP chairman of the fourth congressional district, a commissioner for the Wisconsin Elections Commission and Midwest Regional Director for the Republican National Hispanic Assembly.

He’s also a repeat delegate to the Republican National Convention. This is his sixth time. He says his favorite moment was four years ago when Donald Trump addressed the nation after being nominated.

“I mean, we were so upbeat on that, leaving that convention, that that's one of the reasons we won, everybody was so enthusiastic, so excited about President Trump, and we were able to put the necessary extra energy into it,” Spindell says. “And even in Wisconsin, we only won by 21,000 votes. And you know, had we not had that enthusiasm from from the convention. Who knows?”

Although a few delegates made the trip to Charlotte this week, Spindell didn’t. And before the convention began Monday, he didn’t know how it would unfold. One area of uncertainty? How much excitement the largely virtual convention will generate.

“I do not think that huge excitement came out of the Democratic virtual convention,” he says. “So I have to look at it that way. And we may need to supplement whatever that means after the convention.”

Listen to the extended report on Wisconsin delegates to the RNC from WUWM's Maayan Silver.

Despite his uncertainty, Spindell predicts President Trump will keep delegates engaged in the prime-time hours. Trump is expected to give a speech at the convention every night.

“I wouldn't be surprised if he has some sort of meeting with the Wisconsin delegation,” Spindell says. “And then I expected he will give a superb speech on on Thursday, he likes Wisconsin. And so we are very much looking forward to just also doing whatever we can after the convention to ensure victory.”

Andrew Hitt is Chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. He was one of four delegates who traveled to Charlotte for the official vote, and he returned Monday to lead local programming. Hitt believes the GOP convention will have a different flavor than the Democratic National Convention.

“You won't see a bunch of Hollywood stars like you saw from the Democrats, you're going to see real people who have benefited and who have had success as a result of the president's programs and his policies. You will see a vision for the future. And you will see America for you know, the wonder that it is.”

A delegate from northern Wisconsin hopes the convention drums up excitement in his part of this battleground state. Travis Nez, who lives in Phillips, Wis., is in his 20s and just graduated from law school. He’s also a member of the Colorado River Indian tribe of Arizona.

“So, for a long time, we've been considered flyover country and now for the first time or the second time, you know, we're going to have a major impact on this election,” says Nez. “And, we're working really hard up here, we're not leaving one stone unturned, and, you know, we're just being cautiously optimistic and doing everything we can to help reelect the president.”

Nez is already door knocking for the Trump campaign, putting out signs and participating in local events. He’ll be attending a Wisconsin delegation watch party of the President’s acceptance speech in Waukesha on Thursday.

Maayan Silver is a WUWM news reporter.
Related Content