Thursday, Sept. 2, 2004 | 9:36 a.m.
NEW YORK -- Gov. Kenny Guinn officially cast Nevada's 33 votes to nominate President Bush for re-election Wednesday, emphasizing on the convention floor that Nevada put Bush in the White House in 2000 and aims to do it again this time around.
"From the Battle Born State, to a battleground state, to a must-win state Nevada is small but mighty," Guinn said, flanked by Controller Kathy Augustine, State Treasurer Brian Krolicki, Secretary of State Dean Heller, state party Chairwoman Earlene Forsythe and Nevada's Republican National Committee members Joe Brown and Beverly Willard along with a standing crowd of the other delegates clad in matching Nevada polo shirts and hats.
Guinn said Nevada kept Vice President Al Gore at 266 electoral votes, giving Bush the win in 2000. He cast the votes as the delegate held up signs reading "W for President."
Nevada passed on its vote Monday so it would cast it closer to the nomination.
This is Guinn's last convention as governor since he cannot run for re-election in 2006.
"This is the way we came in and it's they way we go out," Guinn said. He could not think of a better way to end his last convention than by nominating Bush.
240 seconds of fame
He only had four minutes and he made sure he used them. From the podium at the convention, Attorney General Brian Sandoval talked about the recent birth of his third child and the policies the president has put in place to protect all children.
"At home and at work, I have accepted the same obligation embraced by President Bush: keeping Americas most vulnerable citizens -- our children -- safe from harm," he said.
Sandoval spoke a few hours before Vice President Dick Cheney took the stage to make his acceptance speech.
"President Bush has made great strides in making America safer," Sandoval said during his remarks from the podium. "With him in the White House, we can focus on pursuing our dreams without fear."
Sandoval said Tuesday he learned about three weeks ago that he would be speaking. He practiced with the teleprompter several times Monday and Tuesday. He never had used one before.
"It's the honor of a lifetime," Sandoval said. "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity and give a national face to the state."
He was "humbled" by the opportunity and said he was a little nervous. Convention organizers told him not to expect all the seats to be filled and told him that not everyone would be listening to him. Madison Square Garden was fairly full when he spoke as the states were getting ready to do their roll call votes and hear Cheney.
A Las Vegas resident may well have been one of the most photographed delegates on the floor Wednesday night.
Photographers and video crews loved Las Vegas delegate Joe Cortez, a boxing referee, who wore a pair of red boxing gloves around his neck Tuesday night on the convention floor. He had illustrations of George Bush, Dick Cheney and himself airbrushed on them. He carried a photo in his pocket of the time Bush signed another set of gloves.
The front page of amNew York, the city's free daily newspaper, had a photo of Cortez's Cheney glove and the headline "Cheney Takes Gloves Off," over the story on the vice president's speech.
Cortez said the gloves are symbolic because not only did he win three Golden Glove championships himself and referee more than 100 fights in Madison Square Garden, but he feels the upcoming election is "the greatest fight ever fought" in the arena.
Reno delegate Rew Goodenow, who said he is usually not such a casual dresser, wore flip-flops during convention events Wednesday. They were imprinted with Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's face and had "flip" on one and "flop" on the other, playing off the Republicans claim that Kerry flip-flops on the issues. He also bought a pair for his daughter. Red, white and blue flip-flop earrings are also a popular item for convention accessorizing.