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DENVER — Looking to solidify his standing as a front-runner ahead of next month’s four-way GOP gubernatorial primary, Bob Beauprez announced Monday that another former rival is behind him.

State Sen. Greg Brophy, a former gubernatorial hopeful who failed to make the primary ballot at last month’s state GOP assembly, threw his support behind Beauprez during a radio appearance Monday morning.

“I want Republicans to win this November and Bob is the best prepared to win and then govern Colorado back to greatness,” said Brophy, a farmer from Wray who just finished his final legislative session as a state lawmaker.

Brophy is following the lead of Steve House, another former gubernatorial hopeful who is also backing Beauprez.

Beauprez, a former congressman who was the Republican candidate for governor in 2006 when he lost by 17 points to Democrat Bill Ritter, entered this year’s contest at the very last minute in late February, saying that the other gubernatorial candidates weren’t demonstrating enough support to be competitive in the fall.

In the June 24 primary, he faces former Congressman Tom Tancredo, former state Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp and Secretary of State Scott Gessler.

With Kopp and Gessler’s campaigns not raising enough money to mount a serious television push ahead of the primary, Tancredo, with his strong name ID, and Beauprez, with his experience and personal financial resources, appear to be in the best position.

Beauprez, who is on a two-week bus tour across the state, is hoping to show momentum now with the strong fundraising numbers coupled with a number of endorsements.

“Republicans are coming together,” said Beauprez. “There is no doubt that we will beat John Hickenlooper in November and return strong leadership, opportunity and common sense to Colorado.”