Barb Bair first started knocking on doors for the Republican Party in York County 35 years ago, when Gerald Ford and Bob Dole were on the presidential ticket.
She caught the political fever as a 12-year-old, and she's had it ever since. She has, she said, a love of the people and the process behind government.
The 47-year-old Lower Windsor Township woman, who is also York County Treasurer, will be one of four delegates to represent the 4th Congressional District in the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Monday through Thursday.
She said the conventions, to which she was a delegate in 1992, represent the pinnacle of her political experience.
"Everyone who gets together has that same love," she said. "They're all active people and there's a certain synergy that comes from that. "
But the weather: Like other delegates from York, Bair is excited to leave Saturday for Tampa.
But that excitement has been tempered by weather reports that have people wondering whether and how the convention will be pulled off if Tropical Storm Isaac stays on track for the city.
RNC organizers have said the convention won't be canceled, and they're preparing a contingency plan as Isaac approaches southern Florida.
Bair said she just hopes the decisions are made before she steps on the plane.
"If the mayor shuts down the city (of Tampa), I guess we don't have any choice," Bair said.
Organizers were working closely with state and federal authorities on monitoring the storm as they prepared for the arrival of 70,000 delegates, journalists and protesters, with convention CEO William Harris saying the GOP is continuing to move forward with the event.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said RNC officials had consulted with state, local and federal authorities, and there were no plans to cancel the convention, according to the Associated Press.
Also going: Other delegates from York are Lisa Wingert from Manchester Township and Marilyn Gillespie of Springfield Township. Charlie Gerow of Hampden Township, Cumberland County, was also elected.
Alternates are Dave Talley of York Township, Seth Shoemaker of Lower Allen Township in Cumberland County, Chad Nagle of Wormleysburg, Cumberland County, and Edwin Matthias of Hampden Township, Cumberland County. They'll travel to Tampa but might not be needed on the convention floor.
Those elected from the 4th Congressional District will be among 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. They'll gather to officially nominate the party's presidential and vice presidential candidates, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan. R-Wisc.
Both men are expected to speak, as are numerous other candidates for U.S. House and U.S. Senate seats. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is keynote speaker.
Matter of momentum: Wingert said she's looking forward most to hearing Christie speak.
"He's very straightforward and tells you like it is, kinda like me," she said.
She attended the convention in the 2004 with her husband, Ken Wingert, who was a delegate, she said. The conventions are uplifting and inspiring, she said.
"I think this convention can be a turning point for the party," she said. "We need to get the momentum going."
The convention will be a chance to unite tea party conservatives and more traditional Republicans so they can focus on a common goal, she said.
"We may not agree about everything on the platform, but we need to come together for change and get Obama out of office."
She said she's "a positive person," and she's trying not to let a potential hurricane "dampen" her spirits.
"We'll just have to chase it away," she said.
-- Reach Christina Kauffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.