The gubernatorial field narrowed significantly Tuesday when the four Republican contenders were culled to one after the primary election. Bob Beauprez emerged victorious from the 2014 primary class with just more than 30 percent of the statewide vote, defeating Mike Kopp, Tom Tancredo and Scott Gessler. Beauprez’s presence in the general election will be good for voters.
As a two-term U.S. representative from the 7th Congressional District and a past Republican nominee for governor, Beauprez has political and electoral experience that will serve him well in the race against Gov. John Hickenlooper. Debates have the potential to be lively and well-informed, contributing to an election that considers a wide range of issues important to Colorado, rather than one mired in single-issue discussions.
Since Tuesday, Beauprez has earned Kopp’s endorsement and Gessler’s commitment to “help Bob out any way I can.” Tancredo, who obviously noticed his last-place finish Tuesday, pledged to assist Beauprez, as well, “even if that means I don’t come around,” he told the nominee in a phone call congratulating him, according to The Denver Post.
The transition from primary enemies to general election friends is nothing new in politics, but will be essential for a Republican win against Hickenlooper in November.
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, survived a weak primary challenge from tea party candidate David Cox, a Palisade peach farmer. Cox was running to the right of Tipton – a location without much room. While Tipton handily beat Cox 83 percent to 17 percent, in Montezuma County, Tipton’s home, the gap was considerably narrower: 73 percent to 27 percent. Tipton should heed those numbers and work to improve what is behind them.
Between now and Nov. 4, voters will be hearing plenty from these men and their opponents. There is plenty at stake, and the process warrants close attention and careful consideration.