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Denver leaders launch effort to win 2016 RNC

7:15 PM, Jan 17, 2014   |    comments
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DENVER - An effort to attract a major piece of the 2016 presidential campaign trail to Denver kicked off on Friday.

Local leaders who want to bring the Republican National Convention to Denver held a private luncheon on Friday to organize the effort.

In the sport of politics, national conventions are like the conference championships, which makes them a pretty big deal with a lot of exposure.

Denver learned that firsthand hosting the Democrats' convention in 2008.

The team trying to win the next RNC for Denver is chaired by former GOP congressman Bob Beauprez.

"The 2008 Democrat convention set a new standard. And it is the standard I think by which all conventions are measured," Beauprez said.

Denver will have to beat bids by about 20 other cities across the country, but organizers think the DNC's success in 2008 will be hard for competitors to match.

"They don't have an opportunity to say 'look what Colorado already did. And already did, recently, and the huge success that it was,'" Beauprez said.

9NEWS political analyst Floyd Ciruli says Republicans might like an RNC in Denver for political reasons.

"It is like having a multimillion-dollar 4-day media buy," Ciruli said. "There's a bit of a presumption right now that Colorado shifted after the last election, that it is indeed sort of a light blue."

Colorado voted for Obama twice.

The GOP would love to turn the state back to red, or at least purple.

Despite that possibility, some heavy-hitting Democrats want the Republican Convention in Denver.

Gov. John Hickenlooper and Mayor Michael Hancock signed on.

That's because an RNC is expected to bring 50-thousand visitors who will stimulate the economy by spending hundreds of millions of dollars here.

But it's also expensive.

From venues to crowd control, it costs roughly $60 million.

Which means the committee needs to convince the RNC it has the ability to do that kind of fundraising quickly.

The bid is due February 28 and GOP leaders expect to learn whether Denver makes the final cut of 3-5 cities within the next couple of months.

Denver has hosted major milestones in the last two presidential cycles.

The first 2012 Presidential debate took place at the University of Denver.

In 2008, the Democratic National Convention came to Denver, with events inside Pepsi Center and Barack Obama's historic acceptance speech at Invesco Field.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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