It was a herculean task, but former Rep. Bob Beauprez wasn’t afraid to face it. After sitting on the sidelines for eight years, it would have been easy for Beauprez to continue doing what he loves, working his ranch, contributing to the larger political philosophical debate from a safe distance, and enjoying time with his family. No one would have blamed him, especially after what had been a very promising political career became the first prominent victim of the “Colorado” model. Yet, Beauprez cared too much for his country, and loved his state too much to sit on the sidelines when he knew he do something about it. In the end, he came up just short.
For the better part of his first term, many thought whoever the Republicans nominated to take on Gov. John Hickenlooper would be little better than a sacrificial lamb; someone who had nothing to lose as more promising candidates waited for a more favorable 2018. Even as Hick drifted to the extremes of the Democratic Party, and essentially ceded all decision making to the extremely liberal 2013 Democratic legislature, many Colorado and national pundits still believed him to be invincible. But, as soon as the Republican primary was settled in June, Beauprez took the fight to Hick, and certainly gave Hick the toughest fight of his political career.
Beauprez made Hick more than just blink as Hick has literally lost his health over the past week fighting for his political life. If nothing else, Beauprez certainly made Hick sit up and take notice that there’s a large part of the state who disapproves of the way he has governed, especially these last two years. If Hick is truly the non-politician politician that he likes to claim to be (remember PeakNation™, he’s new to this political game after only doing it for the past 12 years), he’ll need to recalibrate to find that political center he left behind long ago.
As for Beauprez, if anything good can from this defeat for him it must be his redemption. The Beauprez of 2014 is the Beauprez many were expecting in 2006 who never seemed to show up. No longer will he be the man who lost by double digits to former Gov. Bill Ritter, but the man who almost defeated the first incumbent Colorado Governor in over 50 years. Enjoy the ranch Bob, we’ve certainly enjoyed fighting for you these past several months.
We’ll leave the final words to Beauprez. In a heartfelt letter to his supporters he just sent out:
As Coloradans, we are the heirs of the frontier spirit. The spirit of miners and trappers, sodbusters and homesteaders – brave men and women who planted their roots in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains where they gazed in awe across the most inspirational landscapes at the best of America the Beautiful.
They came here not for a life of ease, but to pursue a dream. To fulfill a yearning belief that there is a better life waiting ahead, and that if we work hard, and we persevere, we can achieve that dream.
That frontier spirit which drew the pioneers here in the past gives us the courage we need to pursue the opportunities of the future.
Colorado can still be that shining city on a hill – a beacon to the nation, a light to the world.
Because this is Colorado. And where on earth would you rather be?