Saturday before dawn, thousands began finding their seats at the Village Green Park Amphitheatre in my small city of Powell, Ohio. The 8:30 a.m. rally with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would be the first time they would appear together in Ohio, and their last major rally before the RNC Convention in Tampa.

Downtown Powell is known for its few parking spaces and quaint, bedroom community feel. Just about a half-hour drive northwest of Columbus, Powell is one of the wealthiest communities in the state of Ohio and has a top-ranked school system. It is in the heavily Republican county of Delaware. My husband, Andrew Brenner, is our county’s State Representative. We were honored that Romney and Ryan would make our small city a national focus and part of such an important campaign at this perilous time in our nation’s history.

The aerial photos from the rally confirm: the park was overflowing with people. The couple standing behind me in line was from Florida, I saw neighbors and friends, and there were people who had never been to Powell previously. Beyond the park itself were thousands more onlookers, attempting to catch a glimpse from park tables and adjacent properties. The estimates range from 5,000-7,000 in attendance.