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CPAC opens up in Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Right now, Republicans are gathering in Washington for their annual meeting at the Conservative Political Action Conference--or CPAC.

The conference runs through Saturday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell kicked things off Thursday morning, walking out on stage with a rifle, which he handed to Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn.

Speakers include New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who wasn't invited last year, because he wasn't considered conservative enough; Senator Marco Rubio of Florida; and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

The conference will also hold a straw poll to name its preferred candidate for President in 2016.

Rand Paul won the poll in 2013, ending a 6 year run of either his father Ron Paul or 2012 Presidential nominee Mitt Romney taking the prize.