More Prominent Republicans to Skip National Convention

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Less than two weeks after prominent Democrats decided to skip their party's national convention in September, more leading GOP figures have chosen to do the same. The latest Republicans to forgo the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., include Jon Huntsman and Linda McMahon.

* Huntsman told the Salt Lake Tribune he won't be attending any national convention "until the party focuses on a bigger, bolder, more confident future for the United States... ."

* The former presidential candidate also said he had attended every national convention since 1984 when he was a delegate for incumbent Ronald Reagan.

* Huntsman released the three delegates earned in the primary process earlier this year and endorsed Mitt Romney for president. The former governor of Utah was uninvited to a Republican National Committee event in March for suggesting the United States needed an alternative to Democrats and Republicans.

* McMahon will not attend the national convention and chose to focus on her own campaign instead. The Connecticut Mirror states McMahon will not go to Florida if she wins her state's Senate primary Aug. 14. Less than three months later, McMahon would have a general election contest upon which to focus.

* McMahon ran for Senate unsuccessfully in 2010. This year, she vies for the seat of retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman.

* Two other Republican candidates in Connecticut are also skipping the national convention. Steve Obsitnik and Andrew Roraback chose to focus on their own campaigns in a heavily-Democratic area of the United States.

* Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., is considering staying home as he faces a tough campaign. The Las Vegas Review-Journal states Heller will make up his mind depending upon whether or not he gets a good speaking slot at the Republican National Convention.

* Heller was appointed to the Senate seat vacated by disgraced Sen. John Ensign in April 2011. Heller attended two previous national conventions. Speakers for the 2012 convention won't be finalized until August.

* Republican George Allen, a former governor of Virginia currently locked in a general election battle for his state's Senate seat, told the Washington Post he will focus on the race at home instead of going to Tampa.

* Allen faces off against another former governor as he and Tim Kaine try to succeed Sen. James Webb, who is retiring.

* Many Republicans, as well as Democrats, are choosing to skip their respective national conventions to focus on tight contests ahead of the general election in November. ABC News reported in late June that other members of Congress from Missouri, Montana, West Virginia and Utah have all decided to skip the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., in early September.

William Browning is a research librarian specializing in U.S. politics.

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