MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And finally this hour, a lighter side of political conventions. They're famous for their nightlife, and it's not all bigwigs hobnobbing over martinis. NPR's Cheryl Corley has this postcard from some of Tampa's convention hot spots.
CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: NPR producer Brakkton Booker and I began our hunt for Republican revelers with a trip to 7th Street in Ybor City, the Tampa neighborhood made famous for its cigar factories of the past. Now, it's a mix of restaurants, bars and trendy shops. And this night, there's a mostly young crowd lined up for a Rock the Vote event. Are you a Republican or not?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: No.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: No.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: No.
CORLEY: No? Well, Rock the Vote does call itself nonpartisan, and it didn't look to a politician to draw a crowd to the Amphitheater nightclub. Instead, the headliner is...
TAYLOR SCHILLER: Steve Aoki.
KATIE GLOGOWSKI: (Singing) Can't wait to party.
CORLEY: Eighteen-year-olds Taylor Schiller and Katie Glogowski had on their party duds: bikinis and fishnet stockings. Are you a Republican?
MARTHA ZUERKO: I am a registered Republican, gun-toting, not friendly.
CORLEY: Martha Zuerko(ph), a longtime fan of electronic dance music, said it was very smart if the Republicans played any role in getting the famous DJ to Tampa.
ZUERKO: Because this is exactly what's hot right now, what will get the people coming out here for them to try to sway.
CORLEY: So inside a dark room full of thumping music, flashing disco lights and a couple of bars, it was pandemonium when Aoki stepped up to the turntables.
STEVE AOKI: What's up, Tampa?
(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)
CORLEY: Aoki raises his arms, yells his famous whoop-whoop and urges everyone to vote. Down the street, we see a strip joint called Skin that promises free admission to Republicans who have a convention badge. We passed that right by. Instead, we drop in on the Honey Pot nightclub for Homocon. It's a party organized by GOP GOProud, a group which reaches out to gay and straight conservatives.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Enjoy your evening, sir.
CORLEY: Here, we find swirling silver confetti and plenty of Republicans. Will Clark, who just retired from the Navy after 30 years, is taking it all in.
WILL CLARK: This party right here is proof positive that they are opening their eyes to the fact that there's a lot of gay Republicans. It's time to kind of get with this.
CORLEY: Clark says he's excited about the presidential race and expects a close election. This night, though, is about the music, the dancers and the Tampa party scene. Cheryl Corley, NPR News, Tampa.
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