The GOP’s not-so-friendly welcome sign from Democrats - FOX 13 News

The GOP’s not-so-friendly welcome sign from neighborhood Democrats

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

It's the drive down I-275 every delegate will travel to get from the airport to downtown.

When they do, they'll see a full-size billboard welcoming them to Tampa.

Or is it?

"This doesn't speak at all for unity and the things that we want to do, and the way that we want to represent Tampa," said Robin Vosler of Adonai Communications.

The real message is clear.

The billboard states Tampa "is a city where the mayor and all council members are Democrats."

It's not exactly the welcome wagon for the GOP.

"It just really undermines all the efforts from Democrats and Republicans that has been from the residents of this city to put this on," Vosler said.

That's not true, according to the co-founder of Ruth's List Florida.

That's the pro-women-in-politics group that paid for the ad.

"It was done, I think, politely and civically, and we certainly didn't mean anything mean spirited but rather just a statement of fact," said Ellis Robinson.

It is a fact Tampa's top political spot is held by a democrat who happens to be one of the biggest cheerleaders in supporting the bipartisan benefit of hosting the RNC.

"This our coming out party, we are going to make Tampa proud, and we are going to shine," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn on Aug. 10.

The sign, sure to be seen by thousands, may not be a bright spot for Republicans, but many say all is fair in politics.

"We felt that it was important that they realize they are clearly in the largest swing state in the country and one good way to do that is to recognize the Democrats in Tampa are the ones in charge of making Tampa a wonderful town," Robinson said.

"There are plenty of democrats helping put this thing together," said Mike Hammonds.

He's a Democrat doing his part by actually volunteering at the Republican Convention.

"I want to showcase what Tampa has to offer and help establish something that maybe people are visiting us have never experienced before," he said.

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