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McKinstry: On the GOP convention floor with NY's delegates

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, center, speaks to

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, center, speaks to county Republican chairman Joseph Mondello at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is at right. State Sen. Kenneth LaValle of Port Jefferson wears a red baseball cap. (Aug. 28, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Gerald McKinstry

TAMPA -- New York’s delegation has some good real estate on the floor of the Republican National Convention.

The 95 delegates from the Empire State sit just off to the left of the stage and a few rows back at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, close enough to get a close look at each speaker.

The Forum was a packed house on Tuesday night, with plenty of red, white and blue hoopla to go with prominent speeches by Ann Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and others. They made their cases for a Mitt Romney presidency by touting his personal and professional accomplishments.

Not far from the stage, New York’s group was a virtual who’s who of Republican leaders from around the state. Rudy Giuliani, America’s mayor, got star treatment as one person after another asked to take a picture with him.

In an interview after Tuesday night’s speeches, Giuliani said there’s no better person to explain Mitt Romney than his wife. He characterized her speech as “moving,” “real” and “honest.”

On the whole, he said: “Tonight’s speeches laid out the difference between Romney the leader and Obama the follower.”

The speakers used Romney’s success “as a positive,” he said. “The fact is, we want a man who is successful to be president.”

New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos of Rockville Centre said Christie’s speech was a battle cry to turn this country around.

“The convention is the start,” Skelos said. “I expect we’re going to have a huge win Nov. 6.”

In addition to Giuliani, some others in New York’s delegation Tuesday night included:  David H. Koch, the billionaire businessman, who is contributing handsomely to Republican efforts to oust President Barack Obama; Nassau County Party Chairman Joseph Mondello; State Republican Party Chairman Edward Cox; Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano; former Rep. Susan Molinari; Westchester County party chairman Doug Colety; Rockland County chairman Vinny Reda; and Montebello Village Mayor Jeffrey Oppenheimer of Rockland County.

Pictured above: Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, center, speaks to county Republican chairman Joseph Mondello at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is at right. State Sen. Kenneth LaValle of Port Jefferson wears a red baseball cap. (Aug. 28, 2012)

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