He may not have been picked to be Vice President, but South Dakota Senator John Thune will have one of the primetime speaking spots at next week's Republican National Convention.
Thune will speak on Wednesday night shortly before Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan.
First-time South Dakota delegate Dave Knudson is preparing for the trip to Tampa, Florida and is excited to cast his vote for Mitt Romney. He's also excited to see Senator Thune step up to the podium shortly before Ryan accepts the Vice Presidential nomination.
"It's going to give him a little more exposure. I mean he's obviously been on national television at various times, but I think it will be a real opportunity for the nation to hear him and I think very exciting for South Dakota," Knudson said.
Gerald Teunissen is also headed to Tampa as an alternate delegate for South Dakota and says Thune's speaking position shows where he ranks in the party.
"I think it says a lot about John. I think he's matured well, and obviously they trust him and what he's going to say," Teunissen said.
And South Dakota's delegates are ready to be part of the big national push to elect the next President.
"I think Governor Romney is comfortably ahead in South Dakota just in talking to people, but I think it will be very interesting to be there sort of right at the kick off of the serious Presidential campaign," Knudson said.
South Dakota's delegates will also be watching the weather. Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to pass near Tampa early Tuesday morning.
“That certainly does give you a little concern and so I certainly intend to watch the weather forecast closely both Friday and early Saturday morning,” Knudson said.
But Teunissen says it's still too early to tell exactly where the storm will hit.
“I’m keeping an eye on it. But I’m a former hot air balloon pilot so you watch the weather but you can’t always forecast what the weather is two, three, four, five days in advance so I’m keeping an eye on it,” Teunissen said.
Republican delegates are also running into trouble getting to Tampa for the convention because the Sioux Falls Airport is closed for the next few weekends so many delegates are flying in and out of Omaha and Minneapolis.