Chilton County represented at RNC

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Renee Powers got more than she bargained for last week while attending the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minn. at the Xcel Energy Center.

Powers, of Clanton, represented Alabama’s District 6 as a delegate for Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and was accompanied by her husband, Tom, Congressman Spencer Bachus, Sen. Hank Erwin, and Alex Fox of Clanton.

Erwin served as a delegate for Huckabee, while Bachus went as a delegate for presidential candidate Sen. John McCain. Fox attended the convention as a “delegate at large” elected statewide.

While traveling on a bus in the city, Powers found herself on the receiving end of an attack by demonstrators.

“They threw a brick through the front window of the bus, which sent glass on all those in front,” she said. “I was not in front.”

Powers described the demonstrators as dressed in black with black bandanas and white swastikas around their arms. She said people were attempting to spray bleach on the clothes and in the eyes of those attending the convention.

“On Wednesday night they stopped all the bus routes and asked us to put our credentials away so we wouldn’t be identifiable,” she said. “Some were held in hotels until they could get the riots under control.”

Hundreds were arrested during the course of the event, and at least 80 were arrested that one night.

Powers had more to report than the negative, however. She said the atmosphere of the convention went from a sense of excitement to hope to finally optimism. The overall theme was “Country First” which came with a message of service, reform, prosperity and peace. Powers took part in several TV interviews with networks from Germany, Italy and France, as well as the more familiar ABC 33/40.

She participated in numerous events and had a chance to meet Sarah Palin, Henry Kissinger, Pat Boone and Montel Williams.

“I’ve been told that I’m now on YouTube,” she added.

This was Powers’ first time to attend the convention. She was among 48 delegates from Alabama’s seven Congressional districts.

This number comprised three elected delegates and three selected delegates per district, 24 elected at-large delegates and 24 selected alternate delegates for the entire state, in addition to the state chairman, national committeewoman and national committeeman.

Powers said only in America could someone go from being a kindergarten teacher to representing her district at a national convention.

“We hope we’re an inspiration to [other] ordinary people that in America we have many opportunities to serve our country, whether it be through political processes like this, volunteering in our communities, or serving our country in the military,” she said. “Each of us has a moral responsibility to give to our community and country.”