Beauprez to make quick stop

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This Congressman knows how to kick up his heels.

U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, an Arvada Republican, officially began his campaign for governor Tuesday with some country-style dancing at the Grizzly Rose Saloon and Dance Emporium in Denver. Cam-paign manager John Marshall said more than 1,500 people reserved tickets for the "absolutely huge" event.

What: Meet-and-greet with U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez, R-Arvada, gubernatorial candidate

When: 3 to 4 p.m. Thursday

Where: Old Town Pub & Restaurant, 600 Lincoln Ave.

"It sends a pretty strong signal to our opponent and others that there is a lot of energy behind Bob Beauprez," Marshall said.

That energy is coming to Steamboat Springs.

As part of a weeklong barnstorming trip across the state, Beauprez is scheduled to stop on Lincoln Avenue on Thursday for an event at Old Town Pub.

"We're really pleased that he was able to include us in his schedule this week," said Jennifer Schubert-Akin, chairwoman of Routt County Rep-ublicans. "I would like to hear him talk about the state budget and funding for education. Another huge, huge issue is immigration."

Marshall gave a simple ex--planation of Beauprez's position on the controversial illegal immigration issue.

"We have to get control of it -- period," he said.

Although this week marks the official kickoff for Beauprez's campaign, he and Republican opponent Marc Holtzman, former president of the University of Denver, have been verbally sparring for months.

In the weeks leading to November's elections, Holtzman accused Beauprez of not doing enough to oppose Referendum C, a ballot initiative that asked taxpayers to let the state keep more than $3.5 billion in tax refunds during the next five years to pay for education, health care and transportation needs.

Beauprez, in turn, said Holtzman skirted campaign finance laws by appearing in numerous ads against the referendum, thereby building name recognition for the gubernatorial race.

The two candidates released fundraising figures for the fourth quarter of 2005 this week.

Beauprez reported raising $381,512 in a three-month period ending Dec. 31, for a total of $1.28 million raised since April 2005. His campaign reports that money came from 4,079 donors, 95 percent of whom are from Colorado.

Holtzman reported $383,788 in fourth-quarter fundraising, for a total of $1.55 million, which his campaign reports is the most a candidate for governor has raised by this point in the race.

The leading Democratic candidate is Bill Ritter, a former Denver district attorney. His campaign reported $227,000 in fundraising for the quarter ended Dec. 31, for a total of about $700,000.

Speculation of an entry into the race still surrounds other possible Democratic candidates, including Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and state Rep. Alice Madden, a Boulder Democrat who is the House Majority Leader.

Marshall said Beauprez likely would discuss agricultural and water issues during his visit to Steamboat, along with sharing his big-picture, optimistic vision for Colorado.

-- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203 or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

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