University of Miami School of Law alumnus Reince Priebus, JD '98, and Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), opened the party's convention in Tampa.
According to news reports, Priebus declared the convention in session and pounded a gavel at 2 p.m., before announcing the convention in recess. The first day of the convention was cut short by the threat of effects from Tropical Storm Isaac and the opening session lasted barely a minute to an essentially empty Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The University of Miami School of Law graduate was elected Chair of the RNC at the party's Committee Winter Meeting in Oxon Hill, MD in January 2011, replacing former chairman Michael Steele.
As Chairman, the Wisconsin native Priebus is tasked with digging the committee out of $21 million of debt. Previously, the 40-year-old Priebus served as the Chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. He is currently on leave as a partner in the Litigation and Corporate Practice Group at Michael Best & Friedrich, a broad based business law firm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Priebus is no stranger to leadership. While attending Miami Law, Priebus served as SBA president from 1997-1998. While in office, he was a copy editor for the Res Ipsa Loquitur, the official newspaper of the School of Law. He also wrote prolifically for the publication.
During his years at law school, Priebus clerked for the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, the United States District Court, Southern District of Florida and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in Los Angeles, California.