Gubernatorial GOPs vie for local support |

Gubernatorial GOPs vie for local support

NWS Bob Beauprez PU 3-19

VAIL – Republican gubernatorial candidates vied Sunday for the support of Eagle County party faithful months before voters put either Marc Holtzman or U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez on the November ballot.At the party’s annual Lincoln Day dinner, local candidates also made their cases at the for election in front of nearly 150 county Republicans at the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa.Immigration – a heated issue in recent months at the local, state and national levels – roiled to the top of both Holtzman and Beauprez’s list of concerns in Eagle County.”As governor, I’ll declare a state of emergency,” Holtzman said. The Denver University president said illegal immigrants are draining millions of dollars from state-supported benefits and the people who require those benefits.

“It’s about what’s fair and proper,” he said.Beauprez prefaced his comments, saying “Being a native Coloradoan, I have a balanced perspective of what Colorado is all about.”He outlined a plan to combat illegal immigration, including a system for employers to verify they are hiring legal citizens, he said. Another tactic, Beauprez said, is to give local law enforcement the ability to uphold federal immigration laws.Currently, local police can only hold illegal immigrants – arrested on other charges – for federal authorities.

Both candidates agreed employers must be aware who they are hiring, and also on the banishment of so-called “sanctuary laws” that allow illegal immigrants to quietly remain in the state.A host of candidates – new and old – up for election in the coming months also took the stage to garner support, including county commissioner candidates Hugo Benson and Michael Bair.Both candidates begin courting local Republicans Tuesday at caucuses throughout the county, where delegates will be chosen for the county assembly.Benson, a senior citizen, called for an increase in assisted living for county elderly, while Bair said he would protect tax-payer dollars from being spent on frivolous purchases such as the Edwards gravel pit.

Republicans ushered out county Commissioner Tom Stone, now serving the last year of his second term. He was presented with an award of appreciation.”I hoped to leave Eagle County a little better than I found it,” Stone said. “You don’t do any of this by yourself, you have other people help you.”Party heads plan to increase efforts in the next two days manning phones to get Republicans to the county caucus, party co-chairman Randy Milhoan said.Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14622, or

Vail, Colorado

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