December 05, 2006

Beauprez Considers Senate Run

Um. . .uh. . .wtf?--not a shock:
Rep. Bob Beauprez hasn't ruled out a run for the U.S. Senate, and on Monday he took steps to make sure people keep hearing his views.

His gubernatorial campaign committee sent an e-mail to supporters signed "Bob," in which he talks about lessons Republicans could learn from this year's elections. He also invited people to sign up for a new e-mail-based newsletter he plans to use for regular updates on national issues.

Beauprez, 58, is within days of leaving Capitol Hill for the last time as a congressman. He already has had to move out of his office suite, and his remaining staff members are relegated to a basement cubicle alongside other departing lawmakers.

Still, even in the wake of his sound defeat to Democrat Bill Ritter in the governor's race last month, Beauprez is determined not to fade away.

"I will draw on my experience in Congress to provide a perspective on the war on terror and other current issues," Beauprez wrote. "With Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, it will bear watching their legislative attempts relative to health care, education, taxation and economic policy, as well as the big issues of illegal immigration and homeland security."

Beauprez's move comes at a time when political observers in Colorado are waiting to hear whether Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Loveland, will honor a long-standing pledge to serve only two terms or seek re-election in 2008.

In a recent interview with CBS 4 News, Beauprez would not rule out a future Senate run, telling interviewer Terry Jessup: "We'll take a serious look at almost any opportunity, including that one, I suppose."
This should surprise no one given Beauprez's presence in the state party and lack of alternative prominent Republicans willing to permit speculation before Sen. Wayne Allard officially makes a decision.

The 15 percent shellacking Beauprez received in the gubernatorial race should temper his enthusiasm and, if he runs, he might think about looking elsewhere for campaign advice. Usually, only candidates who fought a vigorous and close race return for a second round at the ballot-box, but Beauprez's baggage at this point is considerable:
Based on Beauprez's drubbing in the governor's race, one liberal activist said he was not worried about a potential Beauprez-for-Senate bid in two years.

"I think he has no real political future in elected office," said Michael Huttner, executive director of the group ProgressNow Action, which launched a Web site during the governor's race accusing Beauprez of waffling as "Both Ways Bob."

Huttner speculated that Beauprez has built friendships over the years that could put him in line for a presidential appointment or other job.

But if Beauprez mounts another run for state office, Huttner said, "I believe Beauprez will have a very difficult time shaking loose of the 'Both Ways Bob' phenomenon. . . . He simply had too many inconsistencies."


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