High-profile cases looming, Beeson backs out of CD3 race against Salazar

What with actor Charlie Sheen allegedly going rogue on his wife on Christmas Eve in Aspen and an English poker player being extradited to face murder charges after his wife’s body was discovered in Garfield County, 9th Judicial District Attorney Martin Beeson apparently didn’t have time for more mundane matters like running for U.S. Congress.

Beeson had already told an Aspen paper the poker-player murder case would be hugely time consuming, but in announcing late last week he was pulling out of the Republican primary race to ultimately take on Democrat John Salazar for Colorado’s Third Congressional District, Beeson said it was more a matter of not wanting to muddy the political waters and cost the GOP.

“Victory is within reach in 2010,” Beeson said in release. “By ‘victory’ I do not mean a selfish, narrow, personal pursuit of power — that’s what the other side is all about.” Beeson threw his support behind Cortez businessman Scott Tipton, who lost in a landslide to Salazar in 2006.

Beeson had lagged badly in fundraising but didn’t cite finances for dropping out. Retired Army officer Bob McConnell of Steamboat Springs is still reportedly in the GOP nomination race, which is being billed by some conservatives as a shining example of a mud-slinging free campaign. The mud, apparently, is being set aside for Salazar, a blue-dog Democrat who’s the brother of Interior Secretary and former U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar.