DENVER – Colorado’s status as a swing-state prize will be on display once again later this month when some of the nation’s most influential conservative leaders descend on Denver for the Centennial Institute’s annual Western Conservative Summit.
Despite being in only its fourth year, the event is already a favorite with regional rank-and-file conservatives and a top attraction among the movement’s national opinion leaders, grassroots backers and political handicappers.
More than 2,000 participants from 40 states are expected to attend the three-day event, which is nearly sold out, according to organizers.
“The Summit has become recognized as America’s premiere summer conference to discuss freedom, family, faith and the future of the conservative movement,” said Centennial Institute President John Andrews. “And, it’s the only place in the Rocky Mountain West to see and hear from some of today’s brightest policy makers, analysts and journalists.”
Andrews isn’t exaggerating. The 2013 lineup – which includes Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and former GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee – is among the most impressive yet.
The list of summit attendees also includes conservative luminaries such as former Florida Congressman Allen West, historian Victor Davis Hanson, Utah congressional candidate Mia Love, as well as media figures like Michael Barone, Dick Morris and the producer of Rush Limbaugh’s radio show James Golden – better known to Limbaugh’s listeners as “Bo Snerdley.”
A number of current and former Colorado officeholders will also be on stage, including U.S. Representatives Cory Gardner of Yuma and Mike Coffman of Aurora, former representatives Marilyn Musgrave and Tom Tancredo, and Secretary of State Scott Gessler.
Andrews added that all of the contenders for next year’s GOP gubernatorial nomination, including Tancredo and Gessler, have been offered microphone time.
“Timing for the Summit is ideal, as Obama’s scandals are reviving some of that Tea Party energy,” said Andrews. “We designated the conference theme as ‘Freedom’s New Day’ amid the 2012 post-election discouragement, but 2013 trends suggest that the new day is now. Summiteers will gather with a real sense of urgency.”
Last year the summit’s featured speakers included conservative pundit Glenn Beck, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, as well as former Reagan Defense Department official Frank Gaffney and controversial Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders.
Tickets for the 2013 gathering, which is slated to run from July 26 through July 28, can still be purchased on the Western Conservative Summit website, according to a spokesman.