Olens is among 11 voting delegates to the convention who live in Cobb. Others include Sue Everhart, chairwoman of the Georgia GOP; her son, Edward Everhart; Joe Dendy, chairman of the Cobb GOP; Toria Morgan, a longtime worker in the party and Republican women’s groups; Patrick L. Burns, a public-relations executive who lives in east Cobb; Oleg Ivutin of Smyrna, who owns a manufacturing company in Mableton; Peggy Henderson of northeast Cobb; Rich Clarke of Austell; Karole Keith of Marietta; and Stefan Passantino of Acworth.
Phil Daniell of Marietta, a candidate for the state House on Nov. 6, will be an alternate to the GOP convention, which officially begins Monday in Tampa, Fla., and will run through Thursday night.
The Georgia Republican Party is sending 76 delegates to the convention.
Late this week, Olens still could not disclose precise details on the topic or length of his speech.
“Obviously it will relate to the role of attorneys general and activities we’ve been involved in, and federalism, the role of the federal government compared to the states,” said Olens, who lives in east Cobb.
Translation: The 2010 health care law championed by President Barack Obama that Republicans and other critics call Obamacare.
Olens also chaired the health and education subcommittee for the national party’s platform. The Republican national party took input on its proposed platform via a website.
“We received several thousand proposals,” he said. “It wasn’t even limited to Republicans.
“Some of the bigger differences with this year’s platform compared to ’04 and ’08 relate to the economy. We heard a strong desire that we get our debt and deficit under control. There was a lot of discussion in regard to our fiscal house,” he said.
Olens was also a delegate to the 2008 convention and has long supported Mitt Romney for his party’s nomination. Besides the floor speech, he will also give several talks in the Tampa area. On Friday he spoke at a national legal meeting in Sarasota. Gov. Nathan Deal will be the keynote speaker to that same group today, Olens said.
Sue Everhart, the state party chair, said Olens was selected to speak to a national audience for several reasons.
“He’s a well-respected attorney general,” Everhart said. “He’s been with Mitt Romney since Day 1. He was the Georgia state chairman for Romney, honorary chairman for Romney, and of course he’s gone after Obama against Obamacare and some of those. We’re the sister state, kind of, with Florida, and Florida’s attorney general is going to be speaking.
“Also, he’s one of the names that the Georgia GOP submitted. We submitted the governor, the attorney general, the Speaker. I think we put in 10 names. And he was chosen,” she said.
Tampa is the second convention that Toria Morgan of west Cobb is attending as a delegate. She is the assistant treasurer of the state GOP, and she is already in Florida as a member of the convention credentials committee. Her husband, Bob, the managing partner in the accounting firm of Cerqueda, Morgan, and Collins, is her guest at the convention.
“We have been able to sightsee throughout the city in between meetings over the last few days,” she said. “I had never been to Tampa, but it is a beautiful city.”
Patrick L. Burns, 42, was an alternate delegate to the RNC in New York City in 2004, but this is his first convention as a voting delegate.
“I am looking forward to seeing all the convention speakers such as Ted Cruz, Governor Chris Christie, and Senator Marco Rubio, and of course vote the Romney/Ryan ticket into nomination,” Burns told the Journal via e-mail.
The Walton High graduate worked with U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich from 1992 to 1999.
“First served with him on his campaign for re-election in 1992 and then on his Congressional staff during the time he represented Cobb County in Congress as House Minority Whip and then Speaker of the House,” Burns said.
Burns and his wife, Mary, have three children.
Peggy Henderson of northeast Cobb has attended previous conventions as an alternate delegate, but this will be her first time voting on the floor of the convention. She works for Cobb Schools in the nutrition department.
“It’s going to be a very historical convention — and a hysterical convention too with the storm — but I’m really looking forward to it,” she said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun in spite of (tropical storm) Isaac. Nothing can shake us.”
Rich Clarke, 31, of Austell, will also be a first-time delegate. He’s lived in Cobb since 2009 and owns a small business producing live events. He also plays guitar and is the lead singer in a band called The Industry.
“I represent the new wing of the Republican party that is young, energized and all about preserving the Constitution,” Clarke said. As a supporter of Ron Paul, Mitt Romney is not his preferred candidate, though he is still excited to be a voting delegate.
“I’m most looking forward to talking with other delegates about the party and the future of the party,” Clarke said.
This is the first convention for Oleg Ivutin, 35, of Smyrna. He was elected as a delegate during a re-vote in District 13. The party’s districts align with congressional districts.
The owner of Cross Country Supply said he is most looking forward to attending two Ron Paul events, both on Sunday.
“This is his last term in Congress, and I believe politicians like him happen in America only once every 40 to 50 years. He’s someone who does what he says he’s going to do, and has done that consistently for 30 years,” Ivutin said.
Ivutin said he is not worried about the storm threat. Rumors floated in Atlanta late in the week that the city was making space available if the Republicans wanted to move the convention here.
Olens said he had not heard that.
“I’m hoping for the best weather-wise,” he said. “Public safety needs to be No. 1 in that discussion.”
Georgia’s 76-member delegation makes it one of the five largest state delegations at the RNC. Other notable delegates from around the state are Sandra Deal, the governor’s wife; tea partier Debbie Dooley of Dacula; McKenna Long lawyer Randy Evans; Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp; Georgia House Speaker David Ralston; and former Gov. Sonny Perdue.
— Staff writer Jon Gillooly contributed to this report.