Tancredo To Enter Governor's Race

Democrats Welcome Republican Primary

Republican hopes for a united front in their battle to unseat incumbent Gov. Bill Ritter have been put on hold as another former congressman indicated Thursday that he plans to join the fray.

When asked if he is running for governor, Tom Tancredo told 7NEWS, "That is exactly what I anticipate doing."

The independent-minded Republican said he will likely make a formal announcement in a week or so.

Tancredo mentioned the state of the Republican Party and the state of the state as reasons for his decision.

"The Republican Party has lost its soul and it's looking in all the wrong places to find it," he said.

The front runner in the race to unseat Ritter said Tancredo is his friend.

Former Congressman Scott McInnis said, "It's an awkward situation with a friend running against a friend, but I have high regards for Tom."

McInnis' path to the nomination appeared much clearer earlier this week, when his chief opponent, state Senator Josh Penry, pulled out of the race claiming that a divisive primary could hinder the GOP's chances.

"Obviously, he took a bullet for the party," McInnis said. "He led by example and that's Josh Penry."

Tancredo doesn't look at it that way.

"I'm not part of the Republican establishment," he said. "My allegiance is more to a philosophy than it is to a party."

Democrats will be happy to see the Republicans duke it out.

"I think it will help us," said Grace Lopez Ramirez, outreach director of the Colorado Democrats. "I think Tom Tancredo is going to offer a contrast to Scott McInnis and we hope it'll drive moderate Republicans to our side."

Political analyst Katy Atkinson, of Atkinson & Associates, told 7NEWS that she is surprised to see Tancredo join the race.

"He has a number of challenges facing him," Atkinson said. "Chief among them -- the perception that he is a one issue candidate."

Tancredo ran for president in 2008 with a campaign focused on illegal immigration.

"Those of us who know Tom know that, in reality, he's not the way that he's perceived to be, but in politics, the truth isn't always important, it's how they perceive the truth," Atkinson said.

That, Atkinson added, leads to the second challenge -- raising cash.

McInnis said he has proven ability to raise cash, and that he initially raised more than Ritter.

Tancredo said he may not have major donors like McInnis, but "I've got thousands and thousands of people all across this country who still believe in what I'm trying to do."

If elected, Tancredo said he would reduce government spending and cut taxes.

McInnis said those are also his goals.

Print this article Back to Top