Republicans from all over the state will be gathering in Stevens Point this weekend. The theme of the GOP state convention is making Wisconsin a Red state in 08'. Mark Jefferson, Executive Director of the State Republican Party says this years presidential election is unique. "It's the first time since 1972 that a Bush or a Dole isn't on the ticket, as a presidential or vice-presidential candidate," notes Jefferson. "In a lot of ways, it's a new direction for the party."
The keynote speaker is Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty–a name thats been generating buzz: "he is mentioned by a lot of folks as a possible vice-presidential candidate," says Johnson, who believes John McCain has the ability to win over non-Republicans with his maverick status. "He really has the opportunity to appeal to those moderates, those independents and Reagan Democrats that are really prevalent here in Wisconsin."