|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 7th district
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2007
|Preceded by||Constituency established|
|Succeeded by||Ed Perlmutter|
September 22, 1948 |
Lafayette, Colorado, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Colorado, Boulder|
Robert L. "Bob" Beauprez (born September 22, 1948) is an American politician who was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 7th Congressional District of Colorado.
Beauprez was the Republican nominee for governor of Colorado in 2006, and was endorsed by outgoing governor Bill Owens. He faced Bill Ritter in the November 7 election, conceding defeat at 10:15 PM that night. By November 10, results showed Ritter with 779,000 votes and Beauprez with 566,000, with less than 100,000 absentee and provisional ballots left to count.
Beauprez is married with four children.
Beauprez was born in Lafayette, Colorado. He grew up on his family's dairy farm, which had been purchased by his grandparents, outside of Boulder, Colorado. He is the son of Marie (née Stengel) and Joseph C. Beauprez. His paternal grandparents had emigrated from Belgium to Colorado and raised draft horses on the family's land. His mother's family was of German descent. His parents raised both Hereford and dairy cattle on the farm. Beauprez often cites his father's example as a major influence on his life.
Beauprez attended Fairview High School where he played football and was named all-conference offensive tackle. He went on to study physical education at the University of Colorado, and received his B.S. in 1970.
Career before entering politics
Following graduation he married Claudia Paul, and together they returned to his family's farm to continue in the dairy business with his brother Mike Beauprez. During his time on the farm Beauprez bred Holstein cattle and served on the board of directors of the Holstein Association of America. Beauprez later sold the farm to build Indian Peaks golf course.
Following his years as a land developer Beauprez and his wife bought an interest in a small local bank known as Bank VII. It was renamed Heritage, and its assets went from $4 million in 1990 to around $450 million by 2006. In addition the bank grew from one location to more than a dozen. Beauprez has said that his decision to go into banking was partially influenced by the hope that he could help small businesses, as it was a bank loan in a drought during the 1950s that saved his family's farm. Due to the money from both land development and a controlling stake in Heritage bank, it is estimated that Beauprez is worth over $1 million.
Republican Party Chairmanship
While Beauprez had been involved in the Republican Party for some time, his first leadership role came in 1997 as the chairman of the Boulder County Republican Party. In 1999, with the backing of Senator Wayne Allard, Beauprez became chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. His tenure as state party chairman was marked by an aggressive attempts to use redistricting to get more Republican candidates elected in Colorado. The Republican Party lost control of the Colorado State Senate for the first time in four decades while Beauprez was chairman.
In 2002 Beauprez ran to represent Colorado's 7th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, regarded as a "swing" district. In beating Democrat Mike Feeley by only 121 votes he won the closest race in the nation. As a freshman, Beauprez served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Veterans Affairs Committee, and the Small Business Committee. He was re-elected in 2004 and subsequently obtained a position on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
2006 Colorado gubernatorial race
Beauprez won the Republican Party nomination for governor in August 2006, running to succeed two-term governor Bill Owens, who was ineligible for a third consecutive term. Beauprez ended up winning the nomination uncontested; he was briefly opposed by Marc Holtzman, who dropped out of the race and endorsed Beauprez several months before the primary. After Beauprez was defeated by Ritter, there was speculation that he might consider running for the retiring Wayne Allard's Senate seat in 2008.
On February 2, 2006, veterans called on Beauprez to apologize for appearing at a photo-op in a military-issued uniform, even though he had never served in the military. He had requested and received three draft deferments and then a medical release during the Vietnam War.  In May 2006, ProgressNow, a liberal advocacy group, produced an Internet-based ad that again focused on Beauprez's draft status during Vietnam. The Beauprez campaign dismissed the ad as done by a "well-financed attack machine."
In October, Beauprez started running ads that attacked Ritter's performance as Denver district attorney, citing a plea-bargained case against illegal immigrant and alleged heroin dealer Carlos Estrada Medina. Under the plea bargain, the dealer was given probation. Later, he was arrested in California, under an alias, on suspicion of sexual abuse on a child. But the fact that that information couldn't be verified in public court records prompted inquiries to Beauprez's campaign as to where it got its facts. Beauprez's campaign manager, John Marshall told a local news station, "In federal criminal databases, the guy's information matches up." That comment set off alarms in Ritter's campaign because federal criminal databases are off-limits to anyone but law enforcement and can be used only for law enforcement purposes. Because the subsequent arrest was under an alias, Ritter's supporters argued that the information could only have been obtained by accessing the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, which access is restricted by federal law. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation initiated an investigation, and found enough evidence to then ask FBI to join its probe. Beauprez denied anything improper had occurred, and that he had never heard of the NCIC database. The Denver Post noted that, as a Congressman, Beauprez had cosponsored a bill relating to the database. When charges were brought against the ICE agent who provided the information to John Marshall, he was found unanimously not guilty by a jury.
Criticism and praise regarding Cory Voorhis
Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Senior Special Agent Cory Voorhis was prosecuted for retrieving Medina's rap sheet from the NCIC database and sharing it with Beauprez' staff. Beauprez defended the action as "whistleblowing," citing a pattern of lenient plea bargains during Ritter's term as district attorney. Many questioned why a Denver District Attorney employee, who accessed the same information and shared it with the Ritter campaign, was not also prosecuted. Voorhis was found not guilty on April 9, 2008. One of the jurors in the case said the jury didn't think Voorhis had "done anything intentionally wrong" and there were "some feelings" that Voorhis had been unfairly "singled out" for prosecution.
During the investigation, Beauprez received criticism for appearing to be unsupportive of Voorhis. But following Voorhis' acquittal, it became public that Beauprez did offer assistance to Voorhis, which was turned down by Voorhis' attorneys in order to avoid the appearance of a partisan political relationship. In an open letter to Beauprez, Voorhis wrote "You are indeed an honorable gentleman, and a great American."  At least one media figure, Peter Boyles, has apologized to Beauprez and retracted his criticism.
- Lynn Bartels; M.E. Sprengelmeyer (2006-10-23). "Duel over database vote: Beauprez backed stiffer rules; Ritter camp questions memory". Rocky Mountain News.
- Chris Frates (2006-10-19). "FBI asked to look into Beauprez ad". Denver Post.
- Karen E. Crummy (2006-10-22). "Beauprez cosponsored bill on database". Denver Post.
- Ann Imse (2008-04-09). "ICE agent found not guilty in political data base case". Rocky Mountain News.
|United States House of Representatives|
|New constituency||Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 7th congressional district
|Party political offices|
|Republican nominee for Governor of Colorado