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Funds Could Be An Issue, But Having RNC In Denver Would Have ‘Huge’ Payoff

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DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado Republicans are hoping they can convince the national Republican Party to agree with Democrats on at least one thing — that Denver is a great place to have a convention.

The state GOP has begun the process of bidding for the 2016 convention, pointing to the success of Democratic National Convention in 2008.

“I can pretty safely say we can handle this convention just like we did the DNC,” said Richard Scharf with the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Denver has the infrastructure, but there may be a problem in terms of the availability of that infrastructure.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The Republican National Committee hasn’t released dates for the 2016 convention yet, but there are discussions of possibly moving it from late August to late June. That means if the Nuggets and/or Avalanche were to make the playoffs that year and to advance into the late rounds, they could need Pepsi Center for games.

Then there’s the money issue. The host committee must raise up to $60 million.

An image from the Republican National Convention in 2012. (credit: CBS)

An image from the Republican National Convention in 2012. (credit: CBS)

Former Colorado Senator Hank Brown is among Colorado’s most esteemed Republicans. He thinks getting that money could be tough.

“Raising the money will be the biggest problem for Republicans,” he said. “Democrats had some billionaires, a group of billionaires who were very generous to them. Republicans haven’t had that kind of big money support in the past, so raising the amount of money called for in this will be the biggest challenge.”

Brown said he’s not sure if Colorado Republicans are up for the challenge.

“If you look at history, I think it’s very much in doubt right now.”

But if the money is in hand, Brown believes Denver has an excellent chance.

“There are only about six or seven swing states. We’re principal among them, one of the largest states that’s a swing state, so I think our chances are good,” he said.

Brown said the payoff for the GOP would be huge.

“I think it makes a big difference in the message that comes through and makes a different in the organization.”

The process will unfold over the next few months. The first step is receiving an official invitation from the RNC to bid for the convention. It includes a list of resources that need to be filled.

After that, the state party will committee made up of Republicans and Democrats to raise the money.

The bid will be submitted by spring. After that the RNC sends its own committee to Denver to take a look.

A decision is expected by January 2015. Other cities expected to be invited to bid include Kansas City, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

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