By Lisa Mascaro, Tribune Washington Bureau –
WASHINGTON — Still no Sarah Palin, but the Republican National Committee announced a roster of mostly conservative headliners for the GOP convention this month in Tampa, Fla.
The Republican 2008 presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, will be among the top speakers at the four-day gathering of party faithful.
One of the party’s rising stars, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, will have a leading spot, as will top conservatives — Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and now television host, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
In a nod to the critical Latino vote, the convention tapped New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez for a prime role. And while former President George W. Bush is not expected to attend, his secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, will have a prime address.
Last week, Democrats said the keynote address at their convention in Charlotte, N.C., would be given by Julian Castro, the San Antonio mayor who, at 37, is a rising Latino political star, as the party announced its lineup, which includes former President Bill Clinton.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called the GOP speakers “some of our party’s brightest stars, who have governed and led effectively and admirably in their respective roles.”
The Republicans are expected to announce other top speakers, including who will deliver the keynote address, in the days ahead. They have not yet announced a role for Palin, the former vice presidential nominee.
The conventions are back-to-back this summer, starting with the Republican gathering in Tampa, Aug. 27-30, and the Democratic convention the following week in Charlotte.