scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Local Republicans sparse among GOP convention speakers

<?EM-dummyText [Drophead goes here] ?>

Former US Senator Scott Brown attended a Donald Trump event in Boston last month.John Tlumacki

New England didn't see much love on the speaker list for the GOP convention next week.

The list is out, and the Republican National Convention is calling it an "all-star" line up. But you'd be hard-pressed to find a New England speaker on the 62-person lineup — many instead hail from the South or Midwest.

And absent from the preliminary list is Scott Brown, a former US senator from Massachusetts, who has recently become somewhat of a cheerleader for the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

Republicans gathering for their nomination confab in Ohio next week will hear from a mixed lineup of speakers who range from celebrity to war survivor. While predictable GOP personalities — including governors, the US House speaker, and several southern state attorney generals — command speaking slots, others are not so typical.


Dana White, president of the mixed martial arts organization Ultimate Fighting Championship, will take the stage in Cleveland, as will PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel and Eileen Collins, the first woman to lead a space shuttle mission.

According to a press release from the Republican National Convention, list of speakers is only partial and a full lineup will be released later. The convention's theme is "Make America Great Again," the slogan of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump's campaign, and the event — which Trump has promised will be "amazing" will focus on national security, immigration, trade, and jobs.

Several speakers are connected to the 2012 attack on an American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya — an event Trump has used to criticize presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time. One speaker is private security contractor Mark Geist, who was injured in the attack, and another is Pat Smith, whose son Sean Smith, a US information manager, was killed in Benghazi.


Members of Trump's family, including his wife and children, are also slated to speak.

And many of the region's top Republicans are skipping out on the event altogether, citing the need to campaign

Governor Charlie Baker, who has said he will not back Trump, said he'll be busy next week, while former New Hampshire governor Judd Gregg said his grandchildren are visiting.

Meg Bernhard can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @meg_bernhard.