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Pittsburgh Delegate Seen Waving Terrible Towel at GOP Convention

Mike McMullen of Gibsonia, a delegate representing Pennsylvania at the Republican National Convention, was seen wearing a Penguins jersey and waving The Terrible Towel.

When packed his bags for the Republican National Convention, he made sure people would know he was from Pittsburgh.

The alternate delegate representing Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District packed Steelers and Penguin jerseys, along with a coal miner's hat with Steelers, Pirates and Penguin logos on it.

CBS's cameras captured him Thursday night wearing a black firefighter's helmet and a Sidney Crosby jersey. He was waving a Terrible Towel while the audience applauded during presidential candidate Mitt Romney's acceptance speech.

"I'll wear a Steeler or Penguin jersey every night to the convention floor," McMullen said during an interview before his trip to Tampa. In addition to Crosby's jersey, McMullen also packed jerseys with the numbers and names of Ben Roethlisberger, James Harrison and Evgeni Malkin.

"I think people will know where I'm from," McMullen said during the interview at the .

McMullen is a Hampton Township resident (with a Gibsonia mailing address) who has been active in the Republican Party in the North Hills for more than 20 years.

He is the Republican State Committeeman from the 40th Senate District, which encompasses 12 townships and boroughs in the North Hills.

The Tampa convention is the third that he has attended. He also served as an alternate delegate at the 1996 and 2008 conventions in San Diego and Minneapolis respectively.

From experience, he predicted he would get very little sleep.

"There's not much downtime," he said. "It's a tight, compacted schedule."

Asked about the issues, he replied:

"This year especially it's about jobs, taxes, the economy."

At the two conventions he attended previously, the Republican presidential candidates ultimately did not win. The 1996 ticket was Bob Dole and Jack Kemp; for 2008, it was John McCain and Sarah Palin.

"Hopefully, maybe the third time's a charm," he said, "and we elect someone who wins."

Being at the convention is one of those "certain moments in your life," he said.

"There's an aura of being on the convention floor," said McMullen, who grew up in a blue-collar home and put himself through the University of Pittsburgh. "It's surreal."

"To nominate the next president of the United States," said the man who considers himself a blue-collar Republican, "that's a big deal."

This story originally appeared on Pine-Richland Patch

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