Florida’s 2 1/2 Hour Drive to the Tampa Convention

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

John Kasich, governor of Ohio, at the Republican National Convention.

Florida’s delegation has great seats for the Republican National Convention. If they could only get there.

As punishment for defying the national party’s calendar and scheduling an early presidential primary, the host state’s delegates were given hotel rooms 30 miles away from the site of the gathering, the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The party also took half of Florida’s delegates and stripped all of the guest passes, which are a valuable way to reward top donors or recruit new ones.

Yet the biggest trouble could be the shuttle back and forth from the convention.

The 50-minute drive to the convention took two-and-a-half hours on Tuesday, the first full day of activities, when the bus was a half-hour late arriving and then got lost heading into Tampa and ended up circling the city for an hour.

Some returned after 1 a.m., when more delays caused another two-and-a-half hour drive.

“Somebody is really trying to punish us,” Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putman said on Wednesday.


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