On Tuesday, June 24, Summit County Republicans who have not yet cast their ballot will join party members from around the state at the polls to determine who will be the GOP candidate for governor.
The Republican governor’s campaign is the only contested race on the Summit County primary ballot.
Last week the four candidates spoke with the Summit Daily News about their platforms, the message going into the final days of the race, their opponents and their strategy to down incumbent Democrat Gov. John Hickenlooper in November and begin repairing the perceived divide between rural and urban Coloradans following the 2013 session of the Colorado State Legislature.
Bob Beauprez is a man who has worn many hats in his lifetime.
After graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Beauprez returned to his family’s dairy farm in nearby Lafayette where he spent his early years learning the family dairy business and raising Holstein cattle. He later sold the family farm to make way for the Indian Peaks golf course, but used those proceeds to purchase an interest in the Lafayette Community Bank, growing its assets from $4 million in 1990 to more than $400 million by 2006. During that time, Beauprez also expanded the bank from one to 13 branches and added more than 150 employees.
In 2002, Beauprez used his success to launch a winning campaign for Congress, representing Colorado’s 7th Congressional District. He returned to Colorado in 2006 to accept the endorsement of outgoing Gov. Bill Ritter, but doesn’t shy away from admitting he was thumped by Democratic candidate Bill Ritter.
Now a published author and editor in chief of a national public policy website, Beauprez initiated a second campaign for governor, basing much of his platform off of his ideals in his two books “A Return to Values: A Conservative Looks at His Party” and “Liberty’s Promise: My Plan to Protect Freedom & Our Constitutional Rights.”
Not unlike his primary election opponents, Beauprez’s message is heavily centered on improving the economy, advocating for states’ rights and protecting private property rights.
“That’s not only our platform, but it will serve as my guiding document when I am hopefully elected as our next governor,” Beauprez said. “Yes, I got my toe stubbed (in 2006), but you learn by doing.”
Already looking to November, Beauprez went on the offensive by slamming Hickenlooper for his inability to not only relate to rural Coloradans, but also for largely shutting them out of the discussion during the controversial gun control debates of 2013.
“Over the course of my campaign I’ve visited several rural towns and the message was largely the same,” Beauprez said. “Many of them said they had gotten used to being ignored once in a while, but they feel like they’ve been completely forgotten by this current governor.”
Beauprez pledged to change that trend if nominated Tuesday as the Republican candidate, saying he already has a leg up on Hickenlooper considering his businesses take him to every corner of the state.
“I’ve walked in multiple shoes and I think that understanding of Colorado is important and one of the shortcomings of our current governor,” Beauprez said. “He doesn’t realize he’s no longer just the mayor of Denver.
“My business has taken me to every corner of Colorado, not just LODO. That’s why I am suited to run our state.”