W. Slope in governor race

Beauprez picks Mesa County commissioner as running mate

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A Western Slope county commissioner is the running mate for Republican governor candidate Bob Beauprez.

Beauprez, a U.S. Representative from Arvada, announced Monday that Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland will join him in the race against Democrat Bill Ritter, a former Denver district attorney.

Rowland, a Grand Junction resident, began serving as a Mesa County commissioner in January 2005. The Beauprez campaign touted her service to the county and her work in child advocacy and protection while with the Mesa County Department of Human Services, where she began working in 1995. Attorney General John Suthers - who visits Steamboat Springs today - recently appointed Rowland to the State Methamphetamine Task Force, citing her experience as co-chairwoman of the Mesa County Meth Task Force.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin, chairwoman of the Routt County Republican Party, praised the selection of Rowland on Monday.

"We couldn't have a better choice, in my opinion," Schubert-Akin said. "She's one of those people who does everything 110 percent. Her background is really impressive."

Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak, a Republican, said she welcomed a Western Slope candidate.

"Someone with experience in local government is a good choice," Stahoviak said. "That's very important."

When asked whether Beauprez contacted her about the lieutenant governor job, Stahoviak laughed.

"Are you kidding?" she said. "I like county government -that's where I'll stay."

Commissioner Doug Monger, a Democrat, said the selection highlights that Colorado politics are about much more than the metro area.

"It says a lot about the importance of the Western Slope," Monger said.

Ritter selected Barbara O'Brien, president of the nonprofit Colorado Children's Campaign in Denver, as his running mate and potential lieutenant governor in January. His campaign counterpunched Beauprez's announcement by officially filing O'Brien's candidate paperwork Monday.

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