Bill and Hillary Clinton may be America’s most famous power couple, but there are partners in Colorado who have made politics and public service the fabric of their lives. Take Aurora city councilman Larry Beer and his wife, state Rep. Karen Middleton, D-Aurora, for example.
Beer, 48, was treasurer of the state Democratic Party when he was introduced to Middleton in 1999 by a mutual friend.
Their second date was a hike and then a picnic. Sounds romantic? The meal was an event for the Boulder County Democrats.
"It was clear she was just sort of a duck in water and you know, she’s just smarter and harder-working than I am," Beer said. "She’s far more diplomatic than I am, which may not be hard."
Since that memorable second date, Middleton, now 42, went on to be appointed and then elected to the State Board of Education. She is currently seeking election to represent House District 42, a post she was appointed to earlier this year when Michael Garcia, D-Aurora, resigned his seat in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal.
“He really is the reason I got involved in politics. I was really more involved in issues organizations,” Middleton said.
They both understand their spouse’s commitment to public service and that they won’t always be home for a six-o’clock dinner, Middleton added.
Beer, a former planning and zoning commissioner for Aurora, was elected to the city council in 2005.
But being elected officials doesn’t mean politics dominates their home life.
"A night at our house is focused along the lines of, ‘What’s for dinner? Have you fed the dogs yet? Is there anything good on TV?’" Beer said of the life the couple has built in the central Aurora home they share with Beer’s two daughters and the family’s three dogs.
And, as Beer points out, their situation isn’t exactly unique. It seems political minds, for whatever reason, attract.