A crowded field, 8 years on, for Beauprez

DENVER — Bob Beauprez says he plans to do things a lot differently this time around.

The former Front Range congressmen who made a failed bid for Colorado governor in 2006 is trying again to win that job, but this time he must navigate through a field of six other candidates in order to win the Republican Party nomination and right to face Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper in November.

But the man who lost the race against the last governor, Democrat Bill Ritter, by 17 percentage points said Tuesday things will be different.

“I’m smarter, I’m not going to make the same mistakes twice,” he said. “I take full responsibility for that. We didn’t run a very good campaign, and that’s my fault. Now, we have a very different environment, and I’m going to have a very different team. But the biggest difference is, now I’m running against an incumbent that we’ve got plenty of reasons to attack, and I intend to make that case.”

But first he has to win his party’s nod over other Republicans, some of whom have been in the race for some time, including fellow former congressmen Tom Tancredo and current Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler.

Also in the race are state Sen. Greg Brophy of Wray, former state Sen. Mike Kopp of Arvada, Adams County businessman Steve House and La Salle resident Ronita Sylvester, who recently entered the race. Sylvester and her husband, Charles, ran as write-in candidates the same year Beauprez was losing to Ritter. They got 370 votes.

At one time or another, five other Republicans were in it, too, including Jason Clark, who ran for the seat as an unaffiliated candidate in 2010. He dropped out over the weekend, throwing his support to Beauprez and calling on the other GOP contenders to do the same.

So far, none have indicated plans to mirror what some Republicans did when U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-4th, jumped into the U.S. Senate race last week. There, two GOP candidates, state Rep. Amy Stephens of Colorado Springs and Weld County district attorney Ken Buck, left the race to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall.

Two others, state Sens. Owen Hill of Colorado Springs and Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs, are still in it.

Kopp said he’s not leaving the race, saying Beauprez is old news.

“Coloradans want to turn the page and get behind a candidate with a vision and plan that empowers people, fights Washington’s relentless attack on our freedoms, and represents the future of our state,” Kopp said. “Bob is welcome to join the race, but we’ve see this movie before, and it doesn’t end well.”

Meanwhile, House launched a series of new radio ads Tuesday touting his campaign, and Tancredo kicked off a fundraising scheme to give away a new AR-15 rifle to one donor of his campaign.

A Colorado native, Beauprez was Republican Party state chairman before getting elected in 2002 in the then-newly formed 7th Congressional District, where he served two terms before running for governor.

Since that race, he launched an online conservative magazine, A Line of Sight, and has been working as its executive editor.


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