Drake off convention docket

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The forced rescheduling of speakers at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul has left at least one Virginian permanently off the event’s docket.

Rep. Thelma Drake was scheduled to give a brief address to the convention on Monday. But after organizers gutted the day’s events of any political rhetoric due to the landfall of Hurricane Gustav on the Gulf Coast, Mrs. Drake — like many others — had to miss her moment in the national limelight.

A spokeswoman for the congresswoman, who is battling Democrat Glenn Nye in her re-election bid to represent Virginia’s 2nd District, said Mrs. Drake had to return to her Virginia Beach home Tuesday morning to be with her constituents.

“That’s really her focus now,” Drake spokesman Travis Burk said.

Mrs. Drake on Sunday told The Washington Times that she had hoped to use her two-minute time slot to champion Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain’s “leadership, his experience [and] his judgment.”

“I am absolutely encouraged by John McCain and I think that people are very excited by this selection of Sarah Palin this week,” she said. “I’m seeing a real excitement. I think that’s really refreshing.”

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