Tancredo Announcement Secondary to Next One

Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo is apparently set to announce his bid for the Presidency on Monday, but it is his next announcement that will really have an impact on Colorado.

It’s no surprise that Tancredo is going to be a full-fledged Presidential candidate, but he admits himself that he has virtually no chance of winning the Republican nomination. What makes his run for President important in Colorado is whether or not he decides to run for re-election to his congressional seat. As he told M.E. Sprengelmeyer of the Rocky Mountain News, Tancredo is keeping his options open:

Even if he announces a run for the White House, Tancredo might leave the fate of his 6th Congressional District seat up in the air. He said last week he had not decided whether he would run for re-election to Congress if he does not win the presidential nomination.

“Ask me after Super Tuesday,” Tancredo joked, referring to Feb. 5, 2008, when dozens of states are expected to hold early presidential primaries or caucuses.

If Tancredo does not run for re-election, it will open up a Republican primary in CD-6 that will be very similar to the hotly contested CD-5 primary of 2006. The two congressional districts are virtually identical in that registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by a more than 2-to-1 margin, so the next congressional representative from CD-6 will more than likely be a Republican.

Tancredo is wisely keeping his option to run for re-election open, and there would be no strategic reason for him to do otherwise. But many Republicans in Colorado don’t expect him to return to run once again. State Senators Tom Wiens and Ted Harvey have been putting together potential campaigns for CD-6 for several months now, as has Wil Armstrong, son of former Republican Sen. Bill Armstrong. These three are going to significant efforts to prepare for a potential congressional run, which indicates that they don’t believe Tancredo will be coming back – even if he doesn’t do well in his Presidential campaign.