DENVER — Bob Beauprez, the former congressman and 2006 GOP gubernatorial candidate, is preparing to enter the Colorado governor’s race next Monday, multiple sources confirm to FOX31 Denver.
Beauprez, who’s been hinting at a run for weeks and hoping to reach a deal for Tom Tancredo to leave the race, has been telling supporters this week that he’s jumping in regardless.
On Friday, Beauprez’s personal website came down, now reading: “coming soon”; another clear indication, sources close to the candidate confirm, that a campaign and an official site are in the works.
Beauprez, who is serving as the chairman of the committee bidding to host the 2016 Republican National Convention in Denver, has pledged to see that venture through and won’t file official candidate papers until next week after returning from a presentation Monday to the RNC’s site-selection committee.
But don’t expect Beauprez, the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee in 2006 and a former congressman, to clear the primary field as quickly as Congressman Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, did on the Senate side when announced his campaign on Wednesday.
“This won’t be a coronation,” one GOP insider told FOX31 Denver. “He’s going to have to earn it.”
Beauprez’s proven fundraising ability and general experience make him a formidable candidate from the get-go; and the Republican Governors Association has indicated it will support him should he win the nomination.
As FOX31 Denver reported Monday, Beauprez has been toying with a gubernatorial bid for several weeks, commissioning a poll and lining up staffers and supporters.
He’s talked with Tom Tancredo about a deal to get Tancredo out of the race before he gets in, but that seems unlikely.
“They are in a major pissing match right now,” one Republican told FOX31 Denver. “[Bob] is the prohibitive favorite of the Republican Governor’s Association, but none of the other candidates seem to care as the RGA doesn’t play in primaries.”
As soon as he files paperwork to run on Monday, Beauprez’s campaign will have less than a month to gather the petition signatures needed to put him on the primary ballot.
Beauprez will have to convince Republicans that he’s learned from his 2006 campaign, which ended in a 17-point loss to Democrat Bill Ritter and has been classified by Democrats and Republicans alike as one of the worst campaigns in recent memory.
“He’s going to remind folks about how he won [Congressional District 7] in a really hard-fought election back in 2002 by 121 votes,” one supporter said. “That’s a seat Republicans haven’t held since he left. Bob knows how to win tough races.”