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Alabama superdelegate reflects on 2020 RNC

Terry Lathan one of few AL delegates to attend the convention in person
Updated: Aug. 28, 2020 at 7:03 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Because of the coronavirus pandemic, much of the 2020 Republican National Convention was conducted virtually. The majority of Alabama’s delegates stayed home to watch the events on television. But six delegates were invited to attend in person.

Alabama GOP Chairman Terry Lathan attended as a superdelegate. It marked her eighth RNC. She said this year was unlike any other.

Lathan attended two in-person events -- Monday’s roll-call vote in Charlotte and the president’s White House acceptance speech Thursday evening.

“Instead of having four days and four nights of procedures, events, parties and being together, we had five hours. The Monday event was only five hours,” Lathan explained. “But the president wanted at least some part of the convention to be in-person.”

The Charlotte event complied with public health guidelines set forth by the state of North Carolina. But the White House audience did not maintain social distance or wear face masks.

Despite the unusual nature of the convention, Lathan described it as uplifting and a reminder of America’s promise. She criticized last week’s Democratic National Convention for focusing too heavily on the nation’s current problems.

Some prominent members of the Republican party chose not to attend this year’s event, having distanced themselves from President Trump and his policies. When asked about the snubs, Lathan said other speakers made up for their absence.

“What we’ve seen is almost like a new generation of Republican,” she explained. “We’ve seen younger people. We’ve seen new rising stars.”

President Trump enjoys widespread popularity in Alabama and will presumably carry the state in the November election. In the final months of the campaign, Lathan says the Alabama GOP will focus on a group of voters described as ‘Trump Disengagers’ -- voters who cast their ballots for Trump four years ago, but who did not vote regularly before 2016 or since. Lathan says she is confident the party can convince them to return to the polls in Trump’s favor this fall.

“We think we’re going to have record-breaking, I mean crushing numbers on November 3rd.”

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