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Disappointment and excitement for Alabama delegation with select few attending Charlotte RNC

Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 3:55 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The Republican National Convention is underway but the pandemic is eliminating the usual sense of togetherness. Just six delegates from each state and territory were allowed to travel to Charlotte, NC for the in-person proceedings. There was a mixture of excitement and disappointment felt throughout the Alabama delegation. The separated delegation is trying to stay united from afar as they officially renominate President Donald Trump.

“(It was) a very different feel than a lot of the conventions,” said State Rep. Andrew Sorrel (R-AL).

Sorrell is the delegation chairman and one of the six that got to go to Charlotte for the convention. As the coronavirus maintains its grip on the nation, Sorrell says convention staff ensured safety. He says he was not worried about people flying in from around the country because of strict protocols for delegates.

“Daily health screenings, asked questions every single day, we had to input our responses, had to make sure we weren’t running a temperature, didn’t have any symptoms,” said Sorrell.

Sorrell admits the atmosphere pales in comparison to previous conventions, but he says he appreciates there was some in-person celebrating.

“I think the energy level was much higher since we had the in-person convention,” said Sorrell.

But disappointment ran through much of the delegation.

“We were all set to go to the convention,” said Bob Baccus.

Bob and his wife Linda are two of the 44 who stayed home. They say they understand the decision, but are upset considering their fond memories from the 2016 convention.

“We really enjoyed the whole experience of the convention,” said Bob.

She says they are hoping to recreate the same energy from Huntsville, AL virtually rallying and unifying the party.

“Everything that’s happening in the country right now I think makes us more aware of how important it is,” said Linda.

Sorrell says he and the other in-person delegates are invited to attend the president’s nomination acceptance speech at the White House Thursday. Bob and Linda will be glued to their tv screens to watch.

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