You may see delegates waving placards at the Republican National Convention this week and basically saying that presidential candidate George W. Bush is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
But the important work of a delegate is really behind the scenes, said Dean Andal, one of three delegates from the 11th Congressional District, which includes Lodi and Galt.
The media focuses primarily on who the candidate's vice presidential running mate is and on debates over the party platform, but that's not the key work for the delegates.
"The real meat of the convention is for key supporters to get together in one place and organize the campaign," Andal said. "They give us our marching orders."
For San Joaquin County delegates Andal, Dimitri Economou and Janet Barton, the "marching orders" will be focused on what they need to do for Bush to win California in the Nov. 7 election, Andal said.
Andal, Economou and Barton were selected by the Bush campaign to represent the 11th Congressional District in Philadelphia this week.
Andal is a former two-term San Joaquin County Assemblyman from Stockton who now serves on the California Board of Equalization. Economou, grandson of Stockton developer and San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos, graduated in May from the Pepperdine University School of Law and just completed the bar examination.
Barton is a farmer from a prominent Ripon family.
Three alternates from the 11th Congressional district were also selected. They are former Assemblyman Robert Naylor, now a Sacramento attorney; David Lucchetti of Wilton, president of Pacific Coast Building Products in Sacramento; and Thomas Marich, also from Sacramento County.
As a board member of the State Board of Equalization, Andal said he can focus on the Republican Convention. When he was in the Assembly, he said he had to focus on his own election campaign.
Andal said he was selected because he was one of the first Republicans to endorse Bush. He also chaired a rally for Bush at Stockton Metropolitan Airport.
Unlike Andal, a veteran elected official, Economou brings a more youthful and student viewpoint to the convention. Economou, 26, was an alternate at the 1996 convention. He serves on the California Republican Platform Committee, which meets twice a year, worked in Gov. Pete Wilson's Los Angeles office for eight months, and worked on Michael Huffington's Senate campaign in 1998.
Economou said he isn't concerned about rumors of protests taking place at the convention. Unlike the Staple Center in Los Angeles, where the Democratic Convention will take place, protesters at the Republican Convention in Philadelphia will be separated by fencing, Economou said.
The only possible danger, he said, may be if the protesters, frustrated by the lack of accessibility at the convention site, move their demonstrations to downtown Philadelphia and the hotels where delegates are staying.
Comments about this story? Send mail to Ross Farrow