GOP avoids headache for Colo. governor

Courtesy of Bob Beauprez

Former Rep. Bob Beauprez clinched the GOP nomination for Colorado governor in Tuesday evening's primary, saving Republicans from a polarizing nominee in anti-immigration hardliner Tom Tancredo. 

ADVERTISEMENT
The Associated Press has called the race for Beauprez, who took 31 percent of the vote with 70 percent of precincts reporting. Tancredo, another former congressman, fell short with 26 percent of the vote. Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler and former state Sen. Mike Kopp had 23 percent and 19 percent, respectively. 

Beauprez's victory will cause a sigh of relief for national Republicans, who were pulling for him over Tancredo, who launched a brief, quixotic presidential bid in 2008. Were Tancredo to be the nominee, national Republicans were concerned his extreme conservative stances, especially on immigration, would spill over to affect the state's competitive House and Senate races.

Beauprez will now face off against Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) in the general election, where Republicans see a chance to target the incumbent after he signed into law controversial sweeping gun control legislation. Still, Hickenlooper is the favorite. 

In anticipation of the Republican nomination, Hickenlooper announced an additional $500,000 purchase in TV ad time Tuesday, bring his total buy to almost $1.4 million for the general election.