Politics & Policy

Cain, Perry, Santorum Descend upon Western Conservative Summit in Colorado

Denver – Gov. Rick Perry will open this weekend’s Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Colorado, with a keynote address Friday night.

Perry, gaining in the polls despite not officially announcing a run for the GOP nomination in 2012, will address what organizers have estimated will be more than a thousand Republicans, social conservatives, and grassroots/liberty activists from throughout the intermountain West.

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum is also scheduled to speak Friday. Businessman Herman Cain and Amb. John Bolton are also scheduled to speak over the course of the weekend.

In an interesting twist, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney — who has already racked up a good portion of Colorado’s former and current elected Republican officials – will not be in attendance, but will be represented Saturday night by a surrogate. Colorado has been considered strong territory for Romney, who visited the state as recently as June and handily won the 2008 primary caucus here with more than 60 percent of the vote. He currently leads among GOP candidates in the West, according to the latest Gallup tracking poll.

Though only in its second year, event organizers hope to spur more interest in the event with the introduction of a straw poll to be conducted at the conclusion of the conference. Just ahead of the media-drenched Ames poll in Iowa, Sunday’s poll should show where many GOP caucus voters in the battleground state of Colorado — with visits just this week from First Lady Michelle Obama and Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus – are looking as the candidates head into the fall portion of the GOP primary.

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