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Inside Politics

Beauprez easily wins re-election bid

Colorado 7th Congressional District

Republican Rep. Bob Beauprez won his seat the first time by only 121 votes.
House: CO 07 Updated: 5:33 p.m. ET
Beauprez 55%
Thomas 43%
100% precincts reporting
Election Results Main Page

(CNN) -- Incumbent Republican Rep. Bob Beauprez had a much easier time winning re-election than experts had imagined.

Some had thought it was one of the Democrats' better chances to pick up a House seat in the West, with the district's even split of registered voters.

But Beauprez, who first won the seat by only 121 votes in 2002, was not really challenged by Thomas, who was making his third attempt at a congressional seat, on Election Day.

The Republican incumbent had taken no chances this time around, having outspent Thomas by a 6-to-1 margin through the first two weeks of October.

Beauprez, who spent three years as state GOP chairman before running for office, voted with President Bush 98 percent of the time on issues on which the White House had a position, according to a report in Congressional Quarterly.

He also was named to the League of Conservation Voters' "dirty dozen" list because of his vote for an energy bill that provides tax breaks to alleged polluters and for his vote to delay clean air protections.

Thomas, a district attorney, also dealt with criticism. According to The Denver Post, a grand jury report raised questions about his role in a private meeting days after the 1999 Columbine High School tragedy, in which a draft affidavit for a search warrant for Eric Harris' home in 1998 had been discussed. In 1998, Thomas had given his opinion that a judge would not find sufficient evidence to approve the warrant.

The Rocky Mountain News noted that the existence of the affidavit was not made public until April 2001, and that the grand jury questioned whether the officials at the meeting, including Thomas, should have disclosed it immediately after the April 1999 tragedy. Thomas explained that he was making death notifications and administering the Healing Fund while the Sheriff's Office investigated the incident, and, according to The Post, several Columbine families stepped forward in Thomas' defense.

Thomas made working for universal basic health care, creating jobs, protecting the environment, funding education and providing enough resources to fight the war on terror his top priorities during the campaign.

Beauprez, 56, listed his goals for a second term as strengthening the economy, providing affordable health care and access, reforming the tax code and funding homeland-security efforts.

A graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in education, Beauprez worked in the family dairy farm until the herd was sold in 1990. He went on to found Heritage Bank, a community bank with seven locations in Colorado.

Thomas, 56, has been district attorney for Jefferson and Gilpin counties for the past 12 years. He previously served as an assistant district attorney in Denver, assistant U.S. attorney and executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

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