Morning must-read: Michael Kruse’s profile of Al Austin, the man behind the 2012 RNC

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Set for the Republican National Convention preview section in Sunday’s Tampa Bay Times:

Al Austin shuffled one recent Saturday morning onto the green-gray clay of the tennis courts at the Tampa Yacht and Country Club. The 83-year-old wore a floppy white sun hat and boxy black sunglasses, and braces on his elbow, knee and wrist. He hadn’t slept much. He coughed an angry, chesty cough and grimaced.

“I feel terrible,” he said to one of his playing partners, who’s also his doctor. Austin pulled a crinkled tissue from a pocket of his shorts in between some practice shots.

“I’m ready,” he announced.

He stood at the back of the court in some momentary shade.

The first serve of the set spun toward the man most responsible for bringing the Republican National Convention to Tampa.

And on Politico.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.