by Craig Masters
Saturday, Colorado republicans gathered in Denver to finish the process of nominating delegates to their party’s national convention to be held in a few weeks in Tampa, Florida. Candidate Santorum won the majority of republican votes cast at Colorado precinct caucuses. By the time of the county assemblies Romney and Dr. Paul had gained delegate support. When Santorum suspended his campaign just days before the state convention, the stage was set for a very exciting convention in which Colorado delegates pledged to Santorum would be the focus of attention of serious remaining candidates, Paul, Romney, and Gingrich.
Only 2500 of the 3800 elected state delegates bothered to attend Saturday’s convention. Thirty percent delegate no-shows to the state convention! With only 800 out 3800 alternates present to fill in the voting positions of the missing delegates, the best the party was able to do was just over 3000 voting delegates on hand to vote on which delegates Colorado would send in support of candidates and resolutions Colorado republicans want to become part of the national platform of the republican presidential candidate.
What does it say for the enthusiasm of the party when such an important selection process is passed over by some 20 percent?
The competition for delegates was clearly energized. In the end, the odds-on favorite to become the republican party candidate for president, Mitt Romney, was soundly defeated by nearly three to one by conservatives choosing instead to send a clear message to the national party leaders that Colorado wants a candidate with a more supportable conservative record than the Massachusetts governor can offer.
Can it be determined why 30 percent of the elected delegates stayed home Saturday? Was it perhaps because they believed the mainstream media conclusion that Romney was the inevitable choice and the Colorado convention was little more than a big party?
One after another state official and our U.S. Congressmen took to the stage with the message that unity behind the nominee this fall was the only way to defeat what Father Andrew Kemberling called the Euro-socialists as he delivered his message and invocation.
It was clear that Lilly Nunez, the only candidate presented to the assembly for National Committeewoman, offended all but the Romney faithful with her remark about the race for the party’s presidential nomination being all but over now. A hushed boo rolled through the crowd as Nunez called for unity behind “our candidate.” But when the delegates spoke with their ballots, Ms Nunez’s candidate was clearly not theirs.