There are seven people running for the Republican nomination for Governor of Colorado. None of the seven have shown an ability to unite the Colorado GOP. None have shown the ability to win the tough race. None have shown the ability to raise the significant money they will need for a very tough race. None even seem to have a very strong, statewide grassroots network of support.
The frontrunners in the Republican primary include Colorado Secretary of State, Scott Gessler and former Congressman, Tom Tancredo. Both Gessler and Tancredo have high hurdles in terms of electability. Gessler has a series of ethics mishaps that are sure to be the basis of relentless attack ads and Tancredo ran four years ago for Governor as a third party candidate and lost handily.
It is time Colorado Republicans and the rest of us who can help get out and draft former Congressman Bob Beauprez for the nomination. Bob Beauprez can win tough races. Beauprez famously won the newly-added 7th Congressional District in Colorado by 121 votes in 2002 (less than one-third of a vote per precinct) then easily won reelection in 2004 in the district that a Republican hasn’t come close to winning since.
It is true that Beauprez ran for Colorado Governor in 2006 and lost in a year that was devastating across the map for the GOP. But Bob has stayed in the conversation and is highly respected across Colorado. He can build the alliances none of the other candidates can.
Likewise, there have been glimmers of hope in Colorado for the GOP. The decisive victory against the billion-dollar tax increase, the recalls, and the gun debate highlight the glimmers. But not a single conservative win has been an endorsement of the Republican candidates or policies, just a reaction to the leftward march of the state.
Beauprez is not a shoo-in. Colorado has moved left. But the state is clearly showing signs it has had enough. I think Bob Beauprez has a better ability to rally Republican grassroots and donors and consolidate the field.
Interestingly enough, after being unfairly blamed by some for hurting the Colorado GOP's gubernatorial campaign in 2010, Tom Tancredo could be a unifier of the Colorado GOP by getting out and endorsing his friend and colleague, Bob. This would go a long way to helping mend the divisions within the Colorado GOP. Tancredo has a choice to put the past aside and be the man he has claimed he is, for the state and the party.
Winning Colorado back is a key component to the battle against liberals who have been emboldened by their victories in Colorado and have franchised them across the country. In a state where the entire government was flipped from Republican to Democrat over the course of a decade, a Beauprez win could have positive ramifications across the country.
I think he's the man for the job. I hope we can draft him into doing it.