COLORADO SPRINGS — In a sign of the growing influence of Colorado’s 37 Republican delegates, who haven’t all been chosen yet, White House hopeful Ted Cruz has announced plans to speak at the party’s state convention here on April 9.
The time hasn’t been announced yet, but Colorado Republican Party officials have confirmed Cruz’s planned attendance at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.
In trumpeting the news, Colorado Republican Party Chairman Steve House added a prod to others still in the race to show up, too.
“We are extremely pleased to have U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz address the 2016 Colorado GOP convention,” House said in a statement. “Hearing from a presidential candidate in person will be extremely helpful to our state delegates in their deliberations, and we hope to see all three candidates in Colorado Springs on April 9th.”
Republicans across Colorado didn’t get a chance to participate in an official straw poll for president during their March 1 caucuses. Party leaders cancelled the straw poll because new rules from the Republican National Committee would have bound all of Colorado’s delegates to the candidate chosen by caucus-goers on March 1. The move split party members in Colorado where some wished they’d had a voice in the process, and others thought the Party made the right decision in this chaotic national primary environment.
In recent days, the influence Colorado’s as-of-yet selected delegates has grown, especially those who have not pledged themselves to Ted Cruz, Donald Trump or John Kasich, the three candidates hurdling toward what could be a contested national convention in Cleveland on July 18.
Colorado’s 37 delegates will be selected by Republican activists at the party’s state convention in Colorado Springs April 9th. Some who are running to be delegates to the national convention have already formally pledged themselves to candidates, more than 100 of them to Cruz and fewer than that to Trump. The majority of Colorado’s potential delegates are unpledged.
If by July those delegates who are selected find themselves in Cleveland at a contested convention, they can expect tremendous pressure from campaigns to choose a side depending on what happens, whether a fresh presidential candidate parachutes into the convention, or some other scenario.
“There’s a very real possibility that the votes that our delegates cast will be extremely consequential,” says Colorado GOP spokesman Kyle Kohli. “And I think all three presidential candidates recognize that.”
[Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons on Flickr]