- State's voice "is important," state GOP leader Ryan Call says
- Officials don't expect national official to object
- Colorado's caucus could becomes like Ames Straw Poll, Call hopes
Colorado Republican leaders voted Saturday to move the state's nonbinding presidential caucus to early February, immediately after the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus.
The measure was passed by a wide margin, said Ryan Call, Colorado GOP state party chairman.
Colorado has a primary in June for statewide candidates. Delegates to the national conventions are chosen by the parties in a process similar to a statewide convention.
Since the caucus would be nonbinding, Call doesn't expect the Republican National Committee to object.
Call hopes the event will be similar to Iowa's Ames Straw Poll, rallying the party faithful as candidates vie for support and the event makes news.
"We think it is in Colorado's interest and our party's interest," Call said before the vote.
Call acknowledged that most candidates may have to skip the event as they focus on Iowa, New Hampshire and other early primaries states that have binding caucuses and elections, but he said Colorado is an important state and must be part of the decision-making process.
"Colorado's voice is important and needs to be heard in the process," Call said.
He also hopes the event will be a chance for Colorado Republicans to come together and begin to rebuild after a tough 2008 election cycle. Though the Republicans here were able to flip several House seats in their favor, they lost a Senate race and a chaotic governor's race in a year that favored Republicans.