Maryland Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett is the latest Republican to opt out of attending the party’s national convention in Tampa next month, where Mitt Romney is expected to be officially nominated as the GOP’s standard-bearer in the 2012 presidential election.
Bartlett faces a tough re-election bid, according to the Baltimore Sun, but so do many Republican and Democratic candidates who have also announced they will not be attending the festivities at their presidential nominating parties.
All deny any problems with their respective presidential candidates as the reason for their decisions, citing instead a desire to focus on their own campaigns at home or simply — as in Bartlett’s case — the fact that they normally don’t attend the big party gatherings.
Bartlett, for example, has not attended a GOP convention since 1996, the Sun reported, when he was a delegate for then Sen. Bob Dole.
For his part, Bartlett “remains focused on earning the votes of his constituents,” his campaign manager Ted Dacey told the Sun.
Bartlett’s Democratic challenger John DeLaney, however, will spend at least a day or two at his party’s convention in Charlotte, N.C., where he has been invited to deliver the keynote speech at a luncheon gathering for the Maryland delegation.
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