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Beauprez names Mesa County commissioner as running mate

DENVER (AP) - GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez named Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland as his running mate on Monday, a move designed to help him mend fences and win votes on the Western Slope.

"Janet Rowland is a woman of incredible accomplishment and integrity," Beauprez said in a written release. "Janet's real-world experience will make her a great lieutenant governor for Colorado."

Some voters in western Colorado are still angry over Beauprez's support for major water projects that many felt could have stunted economic growth in their region by moving water to the Front Range.

Beauprez has said the state is risking serious problems unless it develops more water storage and the needs to find a political solution, including the Western Slope, which controls most of the state's water.

Democrat Bill Ritter previously announced his running mate would be Barbara O'Brien, who served for 15 years as president of the Colorado Children's Campaign.

Rowland said she got a late start in politics, working as a homemaker while she raised her family.

She earned a master's degree in counseling and served as a caseworker in child protection for the Mesa County Department of Human Services, helping clients cope with child abuse.

"I come from the real world, not the political world," Rowland said in a written release.

"I am so pleased to join Bob Beauprez in this race for governor because he understands that it's high time we put politics aside, roll up our sleeves and tackle the problems facing Colorado," she said.

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