Skip to comments.[Colorado Gov. Bill] Owens, wife of 28 years separate
Posted on 09/06/2003 10:24:00 PM PDT by GraniteStateConservative
Gov. Bill Owens and first lady Frances Owens have separated after 28 years of marriage, Owens announced Sunday.
The split, which came as a shock to many Coloradans, is a trial separation and no formal documents have been filed, the governor said.
"This is a difficult and very personal time for our family," Owens said through his press secretary, Dan Hopkins. "Frances and I recognize that while we would prefer to deal with this matter privately, our public profile necessitates this announcement.
"We hope to be able to work through this soon," the statement said. "But in the meantime, we ask for the indulgence of our many friends and the media, giving our family the opportunity to cope with this outside the public arena."
News of the separation surprised lawmakers and analysts.
"I don't think anyone very many concentric circles removed saw this coming and will be surprised and saddened by the news," said political analyst Eric Sondermann.
"I think it's sad. There are children involved. It's got to be a very difficult time," said Sen. Joan Fitz- Gerald, leader of the Senate Democrats. "Politics is a rough business, and it causes a lot of absences and distractions. I can imagine that this has been very difficult for them."
"Bill Owens is a good governor, and that won't change," said Senate President John Andrews, R- Centennial. "Frances and the kids are a fine Colorado family, and that won't change. Nothing beyond that is anyone else's business."
Hopkins said the governor described the separation as amicable but declined to provide details about where each would live, saying that information is a "private matter."
Frances Owens, 49, was out of town and unavailable for comment. The couple has three children, Monica, 20, Mark, 17, and Brett, 12.
The Owenses were married in January 1975 in Lubbock, Texas. They have lived in Centennial since 2000, when they moved out of the Governor's Mansion near downtown Denver to be closer to the children's schools in Arapahoe County.
Owens, 52, is a Texas native and veteran Republican politician who has served in both the Colorado House and Senate. He is serving his second term as governor, having been re-elected by a landslide in November.
Owens, a devout Catholic, has touted family values as a cornerstone of his administration. Some immediately questioned what impact it would have on Owens' political career if the couple were to divorce. Owens has been mentioned by conservative Republicans as a potential presidential candidate, even though he has never publicly said he is interested in running.
"I don't think it will have much impact at all. He was elected based on who he is and what he believes in. I suspect that hasn't changed," said House Speaker Lola Spradley, R-Beulah.
As to his position on family values, Spradley said she sees nothing inconsistent between his personal problems and his general philosophy.
"I don't think it changes anything," Spradley said. "Everything I know about him says he cares very much about his family and kids. The fact that this is a trial separation means he is going to make every effort to save his family.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with them," she added.
Sondermann called it "premature and slightly inappropriate" to speculate too intensely about what it means in political terms.
"Coloradans have, in the past many decades, not only accepted their governors but fallen in love with their governors, and to a certain extent their first ladies, ... including Frances Owens," Sondermann said.
"I think that probably adds to the shock value here. Most Coloradans would wish them both well. I don't think it is likely to significantly impair Owens' ability to be an effective governor over the next three years. I think it's way premature to say what it does for his national aspirations."
The governor and first lady plan to continue a full public schedule that will include some joint appearances, Hopkins said.
Yes, but Reagan was still a Democrat activist labor union leader at the time of that divorce, so it doesn't count against him! :-) :-)
Once he wised up and became a Republican, he stuck with one woman for the rest of his life.
Of course, being a Democrat shouldn't get you off the hook for bad behavior any more than being drunk or doped up at the time of a crime should get you off. I'm just saying that being drunk at the time, or stoned out of your mind at the time, or being a Democrat at the time makes your bad behavior more "understandable".
I mean, hey - you wouldn't expect a quadriplegic to stand up from his wheelchair and walk, would you? So then, likewise, why would you ever expect a Democrat to behave properly?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.