Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tancredo Seriously Exploring Gov Run as Independent

By Nathan L. Gonzales

Former GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 and is known nationally for leading the charge against illegal immigration, is seriously exploring a run for governor of Colorado as an Independent and will announce his intentions soon.

“We cannot win the governorship in the current environment,” Tancredo said in an interview with the Report on Wednesday, “The two Republican primary candidates are not electable.”

Former Rep. Scott McInnis was the front runner for the GOP nomination until serious allegations of plagiarism surfaced, charges that some Republicans believe have mortally wounded his campaign. Businessman Dan Maes is also running for the Republican nomination, but questions about his tax returns have him on the defensive as well.

Since the filing deadline passed on May 27 and the primary is less than three weeks away (August 10), Tancredo cannot join the GOP race.

“There is no way left to do it as a Republican,” Tancredo said, explaining, “I have to get so many things in order, but believe me there’s an option.” The former congressman said he’d have an announcement within the next couple of days. According to other sources, he’s interviewing potential running mates for an Independent bid.

But even an Independent bid would take some maneuvering.

The filing deadline for third-party candidates passed on June 15, but according to one Colorado political source, Tancredo is exploring the possibility that he may be able to get on the ballot if a currently filed third party candidate drops out. In that case, Tancredo may be able to get his name on the ballot as a replacement.

Some Republican strategists are concerned that if Tancredo is able to get on the ballot, he would split votes with the Republican nominee, essentially handing the governorship to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, the likely Democratic nominee. Gov. Bill Ritter (D) decided not to seek re-election.

As for Tancredo, he says that scenario wouldn’t be his fault.

“I’m not doing it to the party, the party is doing it to itself,” Tancredo said.