By Natasha Bhuyan
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, August 27, 2004
A UA student will be packing his bags and heading to Madison Square Garden next week, not for any sporting event, but for the Republican National Convention.
Pete Seat, a theatre arts senior, was chosen as an alternate delegate for the RNC by the Arizona Republican Party Convention. Even though he is an alternate, Seat will be able to attend the same events during the convention as at-large delegates.
"I was very surprised to be given the great honor of representing my fellow
Republicans," said 21-year-old Seat, the youngest delegate from Arizona. "I am fortunate to have this opportunity at such a young age."
Seat, representing Congressional District 7, will be joining 96 Arizona delegates, including UA alumnus Manny Espinoza, first vice-chairman of the College Republican National Committee and National Minority Outreach Director.
"I just want to be able to be out there and show my support for President Bush and show the nation that a lot of people support President Bush," said Espinoza.
Seat will be at the convention for two days next week, while Espinoza plans to spend the entire week in New York. Arizona is sending 47 at-large delegates and 49 alternate delegates.
Espinoza said each day should be packed with activities from "the crack of dawn until one in the morning."
"We're going to be gathering at places like The Today Show to show our support, and going to breakfast with other Arizona delegates," said Espinoza. "I'm having a dinner with Karl Rove (a top Bush adviser), going to briefings, and working hard to re-elect the president."
In addition, both Seat and Espinoza were invited to a party by Sen. John McCain, R.-Ariz., Wednesday night. Darrell Hammond, of Saturday Night Live fame, is expected to be in attendance.
Despite his young age, Seat is no stranger to the world of politics. Currently State Chairman of the Arizona College Republicans, Seat has volunteered on dozens of campaigns across Arizona. He also interned in the Office of Presidential Scheduling at the White House.
"Pete is hard working and dedicated - he put the College Republicans on the map," said Rep. Jim Kolbe, R.-Ariz.. "Manny's another great guy; I've known him for over 10 years."
Members of the UA College Republicans said they are proud Seat and Espinoza will be at the RNC.
"I'm glad they sent him (Seat); he's one of our best," said Thomas Verry, a computer engineering sophomore.
Sean Small, a political science junior and treasurer for UACR , said Seat did a "good job" of running the UACR last year and increased membership "by a couple hundred percent."
Danielle Roberts, a political science junior, said UACR plans to have a "Party for the President" on September 2 to watch President Bush officially accept his party nomination.
"We're doing, 'Where's Pete?'" Roberts joked about the large crowds expected at the convention. "Whoever finds him gets a prize."
Despite the glitz and glamour, Espinoza said his main objective is to get people excited about the Republican Party.
"This is the most intense I've seen it so early," said Espinoza. "It (the RNC) is really going to fire up the Republican base."
Seat is also adamant about his support of Bush.
"We need the leadership of President Bush to keep moving forward," said Seat.