Beauprez hasn’t ruled out challenging Udall – or Hickenlooper

Politics

Bob Beauprez (left) on the campaign trail with Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call in 2012.

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DENVER — Former GOP Congressman Bob Beauprez, tasked earlier this month with chairing Colorado’s bid to host the 2016 Republican National Convention, told FOX31 Denver on Monday that he hasn’t ruled out putting his name at the top of this year’s ballot.

And he may not have his sights set on the Democratic incumbent you think.

“The real answer is I haven’t closed any doors,” Beauprez told FOX31 Denver. “Although I recognize it’s getting to point where you got to make a decision.”

While Beauprez hasn’t closed the door to a U.S. Senate run, he also remains open to mounting a late run for governor.

In both races, Beauprez said, no candidate has emerged as a favorite from a wide primary field; and fundraising numbers, on the whole, have been less than impressive.

“It would be nice if one of our guys was getting some separation, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The finance numbers don’t lie,” said Beauprez, who clarified that he was referring to the fields of both GOP gubernatorial and Senate candidates.

Of all the gubernatorial candidates on the Republican side, Tom Tancredo has raised the most money — by far — but has just $123,619 cash on hand, still the most of any candidate.

Hickenlooper has raised just over $1 million; but state campaign finance laws limiting contributions make it far easier for a late entrant to the race to catch up with the governor than with Udall, whose campaign cash on hand total is nearing $5 million.

The Republican Senate candidates, who are rumored to be struggling on the fundraising front, must report their fourth quarter totals by the end of the week.

“I’d be interested to see what Ken [Buck] has raised,” Beauprez said, referring to Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, thought to be the front-runner for the moment among the GOP Senate hopefuls.

But there are a few indications that Beauprez, still thought by friends to have the itch to make one more run for statewide office, could be more likely to opt for the governor’s race.

For one, he’s admittedly less than thrilled about moving back to Washington, DC.

He also told FOX31 that a recent column by the Colorado Independent’s Mike Littwin suggesting he’s considering the Senate race is “not very accurate.”

And then there’s a small family matter: his son, John, is dating Monica Owens, who just signed on to help state Rep. Amy Stephens, one of the Republicans vying for the Senate nomination, with her fundraising.

Jumping into that race could make for an awkward situation at the dinner table.

“That’s the most exciting thing, Monica and John,” Beauprez said.

“The obvious part of all of this is that we’re even having this conversation,” Beauprez said. “A year ago, I don’t know that anyone thought either Udall or Hickenlooper would be close to vulnerable.”

Beauprez, who is focused for now on selling RNC members on Colorado’s 2016 convention bid, knows he’s only got a few weeks to make a decision, with party caucuses approaching on March 4 and the state GOP assembly looming in April.

“It’s about that time,” he said. “We’ve got to be making some decisions soon.”

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