Name That Candidate

The campaign volunteer left a front door dejected. She had just been told that the homeowner “wasn’t going to vote for someone who’s name he couldn’t pronounce.”

The canvasser was working for Democratic State Senate 8 candidate, Paul Ohri in Northwest Colorado. Ohri’s opponent was Jack Taylor, who squeaked out a win in the 2000 election. How much did that homeowner’s opinion reflect other voters? No one knows for sure, but it would have taken only a few votes per precinct to change the outcome for Ohri (Oar-ree.)

Today we have Bob Beauprez, Republican candidate for governor who’s also in a tight race against Democrat Bill Ritter.  There’s a little problem with his name recognition, too-some people don’t know how to pronounce it. Variations have included “Boop’rez,” or “Bew-pree” or “Bu’press.”

Plus, the name Beauprez (Bo-prey) looks and sounds “French.” Remember a while back, those were the guys the Republican Congress thought so lowly about that they changed the name of “French Fries” to “Freedom Fries” on the congressional restaurant menu.

His name is a little detail that the pollsters and pundits will dismiss for now, but could “the won’t-vote-for-weird-last-name” voters make the governor’s race even closer?