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Denver Makes Next GOP Convention Cut

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DENVER (AP/CBS4) — Denver is now one of only six cities that made the next cut in the competition to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

The Republican National Committee narrowed the field of possible convention sites on Wednesday after eliminating Columbus and Phoenix.

Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dallas, Kansas City and Las Vegas are also still in the running.

State Republican Party Chair Ryan Call let CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd know as soon as they got word that Denver was still in the running.

“We’re not surprised we made this initial cut,” said Call.

He met with the Metro Mayors Group Wednesday afternoon to share the good news.

Call said Denver’s track record, infrastructure and venues, along with climate and swing state status are all part of the appeal.

“Every city believes they’re the best and we have to be able to show it,” said Call.

He thinks there are still some cities in the running that Denver should be concerned about.

“Las Vegas and Dallas are the ones I worry about the most because they have the money. That and who wants to go to Cleveland, let’s be honest,” said Call.

Next, RNC staff plan to visit the six remaining cities to take a closer look at venues, hotels and financing.

Denver argues its success with the 2008 Democratic convention shows it can handle such a large event.

Colorado also has appealing symbolic value to the RNC. The state has leaned Democratic in the last two presidential elections because of an influx of young, educated professionals and a growing number of Hispanic voters, two groups Republicans are trying to win.

And Republicans would be nominating their presidential candidate in the same place Barack Obama was picked. It also doesn’t hurt Denver’s chances that Colorado is a swing state.

Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan, a Republican, and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, a Democrat, are among some 40 mayors in the metro area joining forces, not for politics but for economics.

“There will be a positive impact for the whole metro area and the mayors are cognizant of that fact,” said Hogan.

The 2008 Democratic convention generated more than $250 million for Colorado.

The next step is a visit from the RNC. They will send a team to Denver in the next few weeks to scope out venues like Sports Authority Field and get an update on fundraising.

The site selection committee will then narrow the list even further and travel to the cities for a final look before making a decision in late summer and early fall.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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