County has large convention delegation

Published 10:25 pm Monday, August 27, 2012

Political Powers: Tom (right) and Renee (center) Powers are shown with Carol Harrison, chairwoman of the Chilton County Republican Executive Committee.

When a Republican National Convention that was delayed by the threat of Tropical Storm Isaac officially begins on Tuesday, Chilton County will be well represented.

Four local residents will be among those at the event, which is a sort of party pep rally with the official task of choosing a presidential candidate.

Mr. and Mrs. Alex Fox will be making their typical appearance at the convention, after having gone for several years. Chilton County Republican Party figureheads Tom and Renee Powers are also representing the county. Tom, formerly Chilton County’s tax assessor, is a delegate, while Renee, who serves as publicity chairwoman for the local Republican Party, is an alternate.

The couple is following in an interesting family tradition. Recently, they found an invitation to Tom’s grandfather, J. Dewey Rockett, to attend the 1936 RNC in Chicago. Rockett was Chilton County tax assessor at the time.

There are 97 delegates and alternates at this year’s convention, which is being held in Tampa, Fla. Activities surrounding the event began Aug. 25, but the convention was to start Monday until Isaac forced the announcement of a state of emergency in Florida and delayed the start of the convention. It will begin Tuesday.

Alabama delegates to the convention were on the ballot for the state’s presidential primary election in March. Tom Powers won the popular vote in his district; Renee Powers had a more complicated trip.

Renee originally was on the ballot to represent Newt Gingrich, a speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995-99; while Tom chose Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator representing Pennsylvania.

Santorum won the district, and Tom Powers won the vote, giving him the right to attend the convention. Renee Powers then tried to earn a visit as an alternate, and she was ultimately selected by the party’s state executive committee.

Gingrich and Santorum have since dropped out of the race and endorsed Mitt Romney, who the Powers’ will officially be casting their ballot for at the convention.