Michigan is having an impact on the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida this week.

Michigan has been featured during a speech by a U.S. Representative from the Upper Peninsula, as Mitt Romney’s brother reflected on his family's time spent in Michigan, during West Michigan Congressman Justin Amash's speech at a seperate rally and on more occasions.

Winning Michigan is very important to Democrats and Republicans in this fall’s election.  The placement of Michigan's delegates up front and center on the convention floor is a reflection of that importance.

In the opening hours of the Republican National Convention on August 28, U.S. Representative Dan Benishek from the Upper Peninsula’s 1st Congressional District was given a speaking slot.  Benishek is the only scheduled Michigan speaker.  Detroitnews.com reports:

Speaking for two minutes, Benishek got plenty of encouragement from the front-row Michigan delegation that chanted and hooted for Michigan mentions. ("I grew up in a little town called Iron River.")

Benishek said the American dream is being threatened with challenges of unemployment and the nearly $16 trillion debt.

"But I believe we can fix these problems by staying true to what has always made this country great: Individual liberty, free enterprise and limited government," Benishek said.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder delivered opening remarks for Michigan’s delegates before turning it over to Mitt Romney’s brother Scott Romney for the emotional announcement.

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West Michigan Congressman Justin Amash received a standing ovation at a separate Republican rally in Tampa on Saturday.  The rally was held to show support for Ron Paul who was denied a chance to speak at the Republican convention.

Amash was given one of the final speaking slots in front of the crowd of close to 10,000.

On Monday, former president Gerald R. Ford was honored at a convention lunch. Michigan delegates received special University of Michigan jerseys at the lunch.  (see top of page)  The jerseys say "Ford" on the back and can often be seen on the convention floor.

This is just the beginning of what should be a lot of attention. from Democrats and Republicans. for Michigan over the next couple of months.