Beauprez’s 2006 running mate backs rival Kopp

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Former Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland is backing Mike Kopp in the GOP gubernatorial primary.

DENVER — In 2006, Janet Rowland was running right alongside Bob Beauprez, as the GOP gubernatorial candidate’s pick for lieutenant governor.

This time around — at least as long as primary season lasts — she’s supporting Mike Kopp, one of the candidates running against Beauprez for the Republicans’ gubernatorial nomination.

“I think once you have a chance to meet Mike Kopp, you’ll understand why I am supporting him for Governor,” Rowland said in an email to Kopp supporters this week. “Mike is exactly the kind of new generation Republican leader we need as our party’s nominee.”

Rowland, a former Mesa County commissioner, is hosting a fundraiser for Kopp Friday night in Grand Junction.

“Janet’s support of my candidacy is a high honor and evidence of the strength of my campaign,” said Kopp in a statement announcing the endorsement. “She represents everything we’ve come to expect from the leaders in our party – high character, bold vision and great motivation to make our state a better place. I’m grateful for her support.”

Beauprez and Rowland lost the 2006 governor’s race to Democrat Bill Ritter by 17 points.

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