GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Martin Beeson, the departing 9th District Attorney for Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties, said he may continue his work as a prosecutor or return to teaching.
Beeson said he did not expect to be beaten at the polls Nov. 6, but he accepted the defeat as God's will in his life.
"Politics is a funny thing," he said. "You don't expect to get fired after you do a good job."
He believes voters "are an instrument in God's plan," and said, "God has a better plan for my life than I could ever envision myself."
Beeson, 56, was narrowly defeated by Sherry Caloia a Glenwood Springs private practice attorney, and will leave office on Jan. 8 when Caloia is sworn in.
He was elected to the DA's job in 2005 after former DA Colleen Truden was ousted in a recall election. Beeson ran unopposed in 2008.
In the 2012 election, however, the close race between Beeson and Caloia wasn't decided until Nov. 20 as county clerks tallied hundreds of provisional and overseas ballots.
"We were surprised," he said. "We didn't expect such a heavy turnout in Pitkin County." It was enough to overwhelm Beeson's winning margins in Garfield and Rio Blanco counties.
Beeson considered pursuing a recall, which would have cost him nearly $12,000. He conceded without a recount on Nov. 30.
All along, he cautioned his family about the possibility of defeat.
"No matter what happens," he recalled telling his wife, Angela, and their three sons, "We don't have anything to worry about, because God will take care of us. It will be a new and exciting adventure."
When the results finally came in, Beeson said his 5-year-old "jumped up and down with his fists in the air, shouting, 'Yay, a new and exciting adventure.'"
Now, Beeson said, "I am excited to see what we're going to be doing next.
"I'm blessed. At 56 years old, I've got three young boys, and those boys aren't going to be young for long."
Aside from being a doting parent, he said of his plans, "I don't have any desire to run for office again. But circumstances change. If I believed it was what God wanted me to do, I would certainly submit to his will."
He would like to return to teaching.
The former Marine taught law from 1999 to 2002 at the Bejing Teaching and Business University in China. That is also where he met his wife-to-be, who was working on a master's degree in economics.
She came to an after-hours discussion group that Beeson led for students in general, and as he described the moment: "She walked into the room, this beautiful Chinese girl with a million-dollar smile, and I was smitten. Instantly." They married four years later.
"In my heart, I'd like to go back to China and teach," he said. But his in-laws have cautioned him against returning now for political and economic reasons.
"But I'm a man of faith," he continued. "I believe that God has a plan for us. And that's what we're searching for now."
He envisions teaching classes on what he calls "the Christian apologists, defenders of the faith," possibly at an international faith-based high school overseas. He wants to combat what he sees as a loss of faith among young people.
He said 75 percent of young people, "when they leave the family, they leave the church."
"I'd like to equip young people properly with the evidence that their Christian faith is correct," he said.
Beeson firmly believes the story of Genesis, although he calls himself "an old-Earther." He said he accepts the scientific theory that the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old rather than 10,000 years old or less, and that the universe is 14 billion years old.
"My personal viewpoint is, if God were to make a world that looks billions and billions of years old [but is not], that would be deceptive," he explained.