Published: June 1, 2014
When ballots arrive this week, Republicans have the opportunity to nominate a successful businessman and seasoned politician to run for governor. They have the option to choose someone with a track record of creating jobs and growing Colorado's economy.
Bob Beauprez grew up milking cows on his family's Lafayette dairy farm before purchasing a small-town bank. He and his wife, Claudia, grew the bank from $4 million in assets in 1990 to more than $450 million in 15 years, creating an institution with branches up and down the Front Range. The couple used their bank, which they subsequently sold, to help small-business owners create good jobs and grow the economy.
In Congress, Beauprez was appointed to the coveted House Ways and Means Committee after serving only two years. He served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Veterans Affairs Committee, obtaining experience and cultivating contacts that may prove beneficial to Colorado's future.
Beauprez knows exactly how he would help Colorado grasp its full economic potential. In part, he would follow the example set by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who conducted a comprehensive examination of the state's administrative rules and regulations and eliminated 368 that were a drag on the economy. As a result, Utah has become the most friendly business climate in the United States. For three straight years, Forbes ranked it as the "Best State for Business," as companies such as eBay, Oracle, Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble skipped over Colorado and relocated major operations to Utah. Other governors have had similar success as a result of deregulation at a time when Colorado has added new burdens and barriers to entry for businesses and industry.
Though Gov. John Hickenlooper is known for championing interests of oil and gas production, Beauprez claims the governor has allowed growing regulations to create the country's most restrictive energy environment. Beauprez vows that would change under his leadership.
Beauprez promises to reduce crime, by reforming the prison system to reverse a growing recidivism rate among convicts on parole. He will execute Nathan Dunlap, the mass killer who shot up a Chuck E. Cheese more than 20 years ago. Hickenlooper declined to carry out the convict's death sentence or to commute it. He left the decision to a successor, and Beauprez hopes it will be him.
"If I'm elected, Dunlap gets executed," Beauprez told The Gazette's editorial board last week.
"As quickly as I can make it happen," he said. "I won't rejoice, but there are families of victims who have been waiting 20 years for justice. Their waiting will be over."
Gov. Hickenlooper promised The Gazette's editorial board in 2010 he would add another lane to I-25 between Woodmen Road and Monument Hill. He came through. Work is nearly completed on the project, making our region an easier destination for tourists. So we asked Beauprez if he would commit to finalizing the widening from Monument Hill to south of Castle Rock. Though he promised no outcome, Beauprez said six lanes to connect Denver and Colorado Springs - the state's two largest cities by far - would be a high priority. Given his transportation work in Congress, we have every confidence in the candidate's ability to get the job done.
Beauprez, a conservative on all issues, advocates strict border security but also understands the need for an immigration system that will serve the economy's needs with an appropriate and temporary migrant workforce. He is committed to increasing standards in public education.
Beauprez exudes a genuine and unwavering commitment to the economic health and welfare of Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak region and southern Colorado. He knows all of Colorado like few other politicians.
Four candidates vie for the Republican nomination at a time when Democrats control all facets of Colorado government. All have only the best intentions for a state they love. Among the field, Beauprez stands out as a man with deep and diverse credentials in farming, business and politics. Public servants with his background of diverse success in the public and private sectors seldom come along.
Republicans will do themselves and their state a favor by making Bob Beauprez their gubernatorial nominee.