- Associated Press - Friday, April 13, 2012

DENVER — It’s been two months since Colorado Republicans chose their presidential favorites, but they’re just now starting to choose delegates to the Republican National Convention who will add Colorado’s voice.

State GOP activists were meeting in Denver on Friday to choose more delegates to the convention.

Republicans planned to meet in groups by congressional district on Friday afternoon. Each district chooses three delegates, though it appears former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney appears certain to win the GOP nomination. He’s got some work to do with Colorado Republicans, though.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won Colorado’s Republican precinct caucuses in February. Party activists expect him to “release” his delegates to choose Romney at the convention, but some conservative Republicans say Romney has work to do assuaging the GOP’s conservative base.

“He has to lead on sound conservative, free-market principles,” said state Sen. Ted Harvey of Douglas County, who is seeking a spot at the convention as an unpledged delegate.

Harvey advised Romney to shore up his conservative credentials to avoid a GOP repeat of Colorado’s 2008 race — when the caucus winner was Romney, who dropped out and was bested by Republican Sen. John McCain, who failed to charge up Colorado Republicans as the state voted for the Democratic presidential nominee for the first time in decades.

One Colorado congressional seat, in Denver’s western suburbs, met Thursday night to choose three national delegates. Only one was pledged for Romney, former Republican senatorial candidate Pete Coors.

After giving each congressional seat three delegates, Republicans planned to elect 12 more statewide delegates on Saturday in Denver.

Friday’s congressional GOP assemblies also picked favorites for Congress. The only incumbent facing a challenge was Rep. Doug Lamborn from Colorado Springs, a conservative who has sometimes clashed with other party members.

Democrats opened their state convention Friday in Pueblo, but little was at stake. No congressional hopefuls faced a challenge, nor did President Barack Obama.

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