July 30, 2007

Bob Beauprez Back In The Political Saddle?

"The jury is still out":
Nine months after losing his bid for governor, Beauprez, 58, is still recovering from the first major setback in a career in business and politics.

For now, he seems happy and at ease. His friends and family say that's what he needs right now. But they also know he won't be happy drifting for long.
. . .
When he scans the political horizon, Beauprez says the wind is still blowing against his party.

Beauprez says he's not sure it's time to jump back into politics. After briefly considering a run for retiring U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard's seat, he has thrown his support to former congressman Bob Schaffer.

He won't rule out another run for Congress, though he sounds lukewarm about the prospect of a 2008 campaign. Possibilities would include trying to take back his old 7th District seat from Democrat Ed Perlmutter, or a bid for the 2nd District seat Democrat Mark Udall is giving up to run against Schaffer for Senate.

Marge Klein, former district director for Beauprez's Colorado congressional office, has spoken with him about what it would take to get him back into politics. She said the jury is still out.

"I think there would have to be some awful good polls to show that he could do a very good showing," she said. "I think it's just too soon for him to even really think too much about running again."
Things don't look so good for the GOP these days, so Beauprez would be wise to take some more time off.

However, despite our criticisms of his campaign last fall, Beauprez has a chance to continue to work behind the scenes, endorse candidates, and continue to support the party in ways he did in his days as state chair. There were many successes for the party under his leadership, and he was elected twice (and likely reelected again, had he stayed in Congress). His primary battle with Marc Holtzman exposed tears in the state's GOP, and factional rivalries and loyalties helped increase Bill Ritter's margin of victory.

The focus for the state GOP now should be cultivating new talent for future elections--though we stress that people like Beauprez should not be marginalized in any way. He brings his own brand of conservatism to the table, as most of us do, and should continue to be honored as a member of distinction within Colorado's GOP and an upstanding public servant, not simply remembered as a candidate who lost an election.

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