Beauprez makes GOP gov race — barely

The four-way race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination is official, with 2006 candidate Bob Beauprez qualifying the ballot Wednesday.

But Beauprez just squeaked onto the ticket, according to the Secretary of State’s analysis of his signatures.  In the 1st Congressional District, he received only 24 more than the 1,500 required.

Beauprez’s 12,209 valid signatures are less than Tom Tancredo’s total of 13,158 valid signatures. Beauprez turned in 23,000 signatures, compared with 16,634 total from Tancredo. Nearly 47 percent of Beauprez’s signatures were rejected.

Nonetheless, the two former candidates who went the petition route will join two candidates nominated at last weekend’s GOP assembly — former Senate minority leader Mike Kopp and Secretary of State Scott Gessler.

Beauprez, a rancher, developer, former GOP state chairman and congressman, lost the 2006 race for governor by a wide margin to Democratic Bill Ritter, whose highest elected office had been as Denver district attorney.

Tancredo ran for governor in 2010 as the American Constitution Party nominee and finished second behind Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, with GOP nominee Dan Maes — a Tea Party favorite with no experience — finishing a distant third.

With four candidates on the June 24 primary ballot, the winner will need just more than 25 percent of the vote.

Name recognition and how candidates get their messages out to potential voters will make a difference. And getting the message out depends on raising money.

Tancredo led the pack of candidates by raising more than $410,000 through Dec. 31, with Gessler raising almost $315,000 and Kopp about $104,000. Beauprez didn’t enter the race until early March, but his wealth may allow him to pump money into his campaign.

The next contribution reports are due with the Secretary of State on May 5.