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GOP dress code: Beach balls and turnpike shirts

Leaving no doubt they're from the state where a guaybera is formal dress, the entire Florida delegation (but for a few holdouts and we'll get to that later) is decked out in the Hawaiian-like shirts sported by toll collectors along Florida's turnpike.

The shirts are "required all day," along with khaki shorts or pants, sandals, a sun visor and beach balls, providing a bit of levity to a convention breakfast otherwise toned down by the looming hurricanes.


"I was a little tired but it perked me up and got me going for the day," Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer said.

There were scofflaws, including Miami Rep. Marcelo Llorente -- in a suit and tie -- and Miami Rep. David Rivera in a white polo shirt.

"I know, I got to change," Rivera said sheepishly. "I'm changing after breakfast," Llorente said. "It looks more comfortable anyhow."

(Photo: courtesy Bob Maurer of North Palm Beach)

Kelly Mallette, a Miami delegate sitting at their table, acknowledged the shirt wasn't her first choice. "I was suffering over wearing it but I did it anyway," she said. "Peer pressure."

The pressure was enough to get Llorente to duck out of the breakfast, returning with a distinctly more casual look.