FORT WORTH -- Call it a reunion, of sorts.
At least five of the Republicans who had hoped to replace Democrat Barack Obama in the White House next year nearly crossed paths in Cowtown this week.
First, presumptive nominee Mitt Romney held a public event and attended a private fundraiser here before traveling elsewhere in the state and leaving Texas without visiting the GOP's state convention, the country's largest political gathering.
Then, Gov. Rick Perry kicked off the convention with a keynote address. Hours later, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul -- who this week said he has the number of delegates needed to create change within the party but not enough to make him the nominee -- led a breakout session for delegates.
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Tonight, Rick Santorum will be a featured speaker at the party's gala fundraiser, and Herman Cain will be a featured speaker tonight at a Bank of Capitalism Party hosted by the Texas Young Republican Federation and Federation of Hispanic Republicans.
District 10 race
Local Republicans have made no secret that they would love to reclaim the Texas Senate seat now represented by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth.
And they believe that their chance will come in November, when Davis and state Rep. Mark Shelton, R-Fort Worth, square off for the post.
"I'm so proud to represent Tarrant County in the state Senate," Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, told delegates Thursday. "This is where good things happen.
"We will put Senate District 10, which you are standing in now, back in the red column."
'Take back our country'
Steve Munisteri, chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, told delegates that the convention theme -- Taking Back Our Country -- is the best possible slogan.
"When we talk about taking back our country, we mean we want to take it back ... from the most left-leaning, biggest-failure, worst president in my lifetime, Barack Obama," he said. He said the party looks to the country's Founding Fathers -- and the Constitution they left behind -- for guidance.
Munisteri said Americans' freedoms are facing attacks that include being told to buy health insurance.
"The course that our government has put us on is the wrong course ... and cannot stand," he said. "With your help, the course that government has put us on will not stand.
"Turn this country around, take our country back, and make it great again."
Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610