Governor Scott Walker to address CPAC in 2013


by Chris Patterson

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Add another name to the list of possible 2016 GOP White House hopefuls who will speak at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, a popular cattle call for Republicans considering bids for the White House.

The American Conservative Union, which runs the annual gathering, said Tuesday that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, will address the conference, which this year will be held March 14-16.

First elected governor in 2010 with strong support from tea party activists and other grassroots conservatives, Walker became a national name when he pushed through the state legislature a bill that limited the collective bargaining rights of public sector workers. The move sparked massive protests which resulted in a recall election, which Walker won. He's up re-election as governor next year.

"I am honored to welcome Governor Scott Walker back to the CPAC stage in March," said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas, in a statement. "As the first governor in American history to win a recall election, Scott Walker has galvanized conservatives around the nation united against government waste and Big Labor, and in favor of balanced budgets and lower taxes."

Walker is thought to be considering the possibility of a bid for his party's nomination. While not saying much on the issue, he has mentioned in interviews that he would like to have an impact nationally.

Four other Republicans also contemplating runs for the White House will also be speaking at CPAC: Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who was last year's GOP vice presidential nominee, and Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who as a 2012 Republican presidential candidate battled Romney deep into the primary calendar.

CPAC is the largest annual gathering of conservative leaders and activists, and it's boosted the presidential campaigns, or ambitions, of many Republican candidates. The annual CPAC GOP presidential nomination straw poll is considered a key gauge of conservative sentiment, and garners much media attention.

CPAC, which turns 40 this year, will be held for the first time at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center just outside Washington, in Prince George's County, Maryland. For years the conference was held at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel in the nation's capital.


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