In more ways than one, Tuesday night was the linchpin moment of the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, FL.
The first day due to , the night housed an official GOP nomination of Mitt Romney for president—and a stirring speech by his wife, Ann.
Sen. Greg Ball (R,C - Patterson) was on the convention floor when Romney snagged the party's nomination. The former Massachusetts governor earned the required delegate votes early in the evening, securing his place on November's ballot alongside vice presidential hopeful congressman Paul Ryan.
"There's a real energy that exists," Ball told Patch Wednesday morning. "It's a great convention."
Romney's nomination left many Ron Paul supporters with a sour taste, however—not due to Romney's landslide nomination victory, but because what many perceived as a calculated snub. RNC officials refused to repeat the number of delegates Paul received when reciting each state's vote tally.
Ball said he crossed paths with a handful of perturbed Paul followers.
"We've got to come together as Independents, Moderates, Republicans and Conservatives," he said, stressing the importance of party unity. "We have to take on Obama, and take back the country on solid footing."
On the heels of Romney's nomination were a spate of speeches from notable GOP members, including acerbic New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and once-presidential hopeful Rick Santorum.
But Ann Romney—with a proclamation on her husband's character, and tales of her battles with cancer and MS—was undoubtedly the capstone. Her speech left many Republicans, and some newscasters, teary-eyed.
"Ann Romney was a real rock star," Ball said. "[She] connected well with the crowd and, I believe, America."
Ball supplied his 4,000 Facebook page followers with live updates and photographs Tuesday night.
"She is amazing," he wrote during Ann Romney's moment on stage. "That's a first lady. What a great person."
Rockland delegate Vincent Reda, chairman of the county's Republican Committee, that he and other local delegates are ready for business.
Rockland County executive C. Scott Vanderhoef was in Tampa Bay Monday, but .
Paul Ryan is slated to deliver his speech Wednesday night.
For more Patch stories from reporters on the ground in Tampa Bay, see: