Gardner, Buck among speakers advertised for Western Conservative Summit; will Trump attend?

DENVER – The Western Conservative Summit is coming to Denver again this year, and the gathering of major conservative players is again hoping to bring out some big names for this year’s three-day event.

Though he hasn’t been confirmed to be attending yet, the summit’s organizers have been touting the possibility that President Donald Trump may appear at this year’s gathering. He spoke at last year’s event while he was still a candidate, as did Sarah Palin and a host of other Republicans.

High-profile people who “might” also show up and who have been invited include HUD Secretary Ben Carson, EPA head Scott Pruitt, the president’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, according to the event's website. It’s unclear at this point if any will actually attend the conference.

But some high-profile Republicans from Colorado are certain to attend, according to the event's planners: Sen. Cory Gardner and Rep. Ken Buck will be there.

The summit, hosted by the Centennial Institute and Colorado Christian University, will also host a roundtable interview involving three of the Republican candidates who have already declared their candidacy for Colorado’s governorship in 2018: Doug Robinson, George Brauchler and Victor Mitchell.

On that panel, each will get five minutes to speak about the ideas for Colorado, then will be interviewed by Colorado Politics’ Joey Bunch.

Online ads for the summit have touted Gardner as being one of the speakers, and have drawn even more questions from those on the left, as Gardner will again visit an event full of wealthy donors and political players weeks after he attended the Koch Industries convention in Colorado Springs.

The Republican senator has been chastised by Colorado Democrats since he hasn’t held an in-person town hall meeting in months and has been part of the Republican team crafting a new health care bill in the Senate.

Those calls for a town hall are unlikely to wane, nor is criticism, as weekend passes will cost $200, and daily passes will be $120 apiece. Discounts are available for some parties of 10 or more people, as well as for people under 30, veterans, active duty military, clergy, educators and CCU alumni.

More information on the event, the speakers expected to attend, and ticketing can be found here.

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