ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- After watching Tropical Storm Isaac creep toward Florida for days, Republican National Convention officials decided late Saturday that it was too risky to start the event on Monday as planned.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said convention officials will only convene briefly on Monday and adjourn for the rest of the day.

"Our first priority is ensuring the safety of delegates, alternates, guests, members of the media attending the Republican National Convention, and citizens of the Tampa Bay area," Priebus said in a statement.

Priebus assured that the main work of the convention - officially nominating Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as the party's presidential ticket - will take place. It just won't take place on Monday as planned.

"We have an experienced team that will ensure changes are operationally smooth and create as little disruption as possible," Priebus said. "The most important concern is safety, but our Convention program will proceed."

Earlier in the day, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency to prepare for the storm. GOP officials were holding a conference call Saturday afternoon to provide further updates on Monday's cancellation.

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