ENGLEWOOD — President Bush showed he still has clout when it comes to fundraising after supporters had to be turned away from a Wednesday reception for GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez, who is lagging behind his Democratic opponent.
Bush said Beauprez needs more than just money, he needs help to make sure Republicans keep control of the governor’s office with Gov. Bill Owens stepping down because of term limits.
“Campaigns are more than just raising money. It helps, don’t get me wrong,” Bush said. “But the next governor is going to need your help turning out the vote. ... I want to thank you for what you’ve done and encourage you to support Bob Beauprez and turn out that vote come November.
“And while you’re doing it, make sure we get these congressional candidates back in office, too.”
Two years ago, Democrats picked up two open congressional seats in Colorado and majority control of the Legislature for the first time since the early 1960s. This year, they hope to take the governor’s office and at least one of two open House seats.
Beauprez, a two-term congressman from the Denver suburbs, faces a tough opponent in Democrat Bill Ritter, a former Denver district attorney seen as a moderate. On Wednesday, Ritter reported raising more than $225,000 during the second half of September, bringing his monthly total for the month to $425,000 and his campaign-to-
date figure to $3.2 million.
Beauprez spokesman John Marshall said Beauprez raised $264,000 during the same period, bringing his total to about $2.8 million.
Marshall said he did not know how much money was raised at the fundraiser, but he said supporters were turned away at the door after they exceeded the 500-person limit at the hotel where the reception was held.
Beauprez and the president have not always seen eye to eye on the thorny topic of illegal immigrants. Marshall said Beauprez wants a tougher guest-worker program than the one advocated by the president, and Beauprez wants to focus on securing the border before any attempts are made to reform the system.