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Daily Times-Call Election Editorials

Publish Date: 10/22/2006

Elect Bob Beauprez

Colorado’s hard fought race for the governor’s office, to be decided in the Nov. 7 election, features Bob Beauprez, the Republican, and Bill Ritter, the Democrat.

Both Beauprez and Ritter have many years of experience in the state; both have worked hard and been successful in their chosen fields.

Because he has spent more time in the private sector, Beauprez would be the best candidate to lead Colorado in the critical next four years. His support by the National Federation of Independent Businesses is a key endorsement because Colorado is a small-business state. Small businesses are vital to our state’s economy and they will be in the future.

It may not be well known, but if it were not for the veto pen and public pronouncements of outgoing Gov. Bill Owens, Colorado could rapidly turn from a pro business state to a state where it is very hard to conduct business successfully. Because jobs and an expanding economy are vital to the people of Colorado, they should support Beauprez as governor.

This is not to suggest that Ritter is actively anti-business. But his supporters tend to favor an ever-expanding government, and it would be hard for Ritter to veto such legislation despite what may be very good intentions.

The key, of course, is balance. There must be enough government to provide needed services whether in education or, unfortunately, prisons. Beauprez was probably wrong in not supporting Amendment C, which was approved by voters to give a five-year break from the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

Beauprez’ background as a dairy farmer, banker and congressman has provided him with a wide range of beneficial experience. Ritter, too, has had a successful career as a prosecutor and, earlier in his career, as a relief worker bringing food and health and nutrition advice in Africa.

The fact that Ritter’s office offered a lot of plea bargains is not, in and of itself, unusual. What is troubling is that during his tenure as district attorney, there were 70 cases where Denver police fatally shot or wounded people and there were no prosecutions. Serving as a police officer is one of the most dangerous jobs imaginable, and no one challenges an officer’s right to defend himself or herself legitimately. But 70 such cases was an extreme and unreasonable number.

It seems likely that Beauprez would probably take a more clear and effective stance against illegal immigration, an issue of growing interest and concern to Coloradans, than would Ritter.

To his credit, Ritter and his supporters have run a very effective campaign and offered many plans for the future.

Beauprez, who has a significant amount of support in the state’s agricultural industry, says focusing on rural Colorado will be a priority of his if elected governor.

Pollsters and commentators months ago called the outcome of the governor’s race. But until all the votes are counted, the voters have not spoken.

Colorado is fortunate to have two major party candidates of strong ability to choose from.

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