About a dozen Northwest Colorado Republicans met with gubernatorial-hopeful Bob Beauprez Saturday in Craig.
The second-term congressman met with GOP members and local elected officials at Tin Cup Restaurant at the Yampa Valley Golf Course for about 90 minutes.
Beauprez currently represents Colorado's 7th Congressional District. He is running for governor in 2006.
Beauprez also met with Republicans in Hayden and Steamboat Springs this weekend.
After giving the audience a brief history of his life as a dairy farmer and banker, Beauprez discussed energy development and the four things he considers most important to Colorado's future: water, transportation, health care and education.
Beauprez also discussed two items on November's ballot, Referenda C and D. Referendum C asks voters to forgo tax refunds that would otherwise be given back to them under the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights.
Referendum D is a package of bonds that would be funded in part by Referendum C.
The referenda would give more than $3 billion to state programs that have seen cuts in recent years.
The congressman said Saturday he opposes C and D because citizens should spend their refunds, not government.
He said the measures go too far and the state's fiscal problems could be fixed if the economy continues to grow.
"I don't think the sky is quite falling yet," Beauprez said.
Growing government programs now would mean funding them in the future, he said.
"You've got to feed the beast," Beauprez said.
He also said the referenda address what has happened in the past, not what will happen in the future.
"We got into this situation not by looking forward," Beauprez said.
Gov. Bill Owens, one of the leading supporters of the referenda, endorsed Beauprez last month.
Beauprez's only confirmed competition for the Republican nomination is former University of Denver President Marc Holtzman.
Holtzman also opposes C and D.
Republicans will decide who gets the nomination in May.
Moffat County Republican Party Chairman Ron Danner, who helped organize Beauprez's visit, said the discussion helped local Republicans get a better feel for the candidate.
"That's exactly what we wanted to do," Danner said.
Danner hopes to have a similar meeting with Holtzman.
Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org