Colorado’s revolving door of Republican candidates kept spinning Monday, as former Rep. Bob Beauprez entered a crowded field seeking to challenge Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Rumors of a Beauprez run have been circulating for weeks, but multiple local media outlets reported his plans to make it official this week. Beauprez is the chairman of a committee seeking to bring the 2016 Republican National Convention to Denver and has traveled to Washington, D.C. to make his pitch.
Beauprez had said he wouldn’t make any announcements about a potential run until the site selection presentation process is complete, according to Denver’s Fox 31.
Beauprez’s official website has been taken down and replaced with a “coming soon” placeholder.
In an odd twist, the current GOP frontrunner for the gubernatorial nomination, former Rep. Tom Tancredo, said he encouraged Beauprez to enter the race. Reportedly, Beauprez has been trying to arrange a deal whereby Tancredo would bow out, but Tancredo said he intends to keep running until it becomes clear that another candidate has what it takes to win the nomination.
“I’m committed to this thing until somebody can show me a person that can raise millions of dollars that I can’t or has polling that shows he or she is going to walk away with it,” Tancredo told the Denver Post.
The potential shift in the governor’s race comes just days after Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner announced that he would abandon his re-election bid and enter the race to challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, vulnerable for his support of Obamacare. (RELATED: Cory Gardner will run for Senate, putting another Dem’s seat in play for the GOP)
Gardner’s move inspired Ken Buck, a Republican district attorney who was running for the Senate seat, to switch races and run for Gardner’s.
“We need to replace Mark Udall in the Senate, and I believe Congressman Cory Gardner is in the strongest position to make that happen,” Buck said, in a statement. “The Senate race has never been about me but about helping change the direction of the country. I hope to have the opportunity to lead the fight for limited government and fiscal responsibility as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Republican state senator Amy Stephens, also seeking the nomination to take on Udall, is considering dropping her campaign, the Weekly Standard reported.
Beauprez will join a packed field of contenders seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Hickenlooper. They include secretary of state Scott Gessler, state Sen. Greg Brophy, former state Sen. Mike Kopp and businessman Steve House.
Beauprez ran for governor in 2006, but lost by 17 points to Democrat Bill Ritter.
Observers have applauded the shuffle, with NBC’s Chuck Todd tweeting, “Took the CO GOP a while to get its act together for 2014 but it looks like they might have a 1st tier slate.”
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