Colorado GOP nightmare: The Tank Tancredo in it to win it

After a reported on-air face off with state Republican Party leader Dick Wadhams, who has struggled to lead in this anti-incumbent tea party fueled election season, Tom Tancredo announced he is not waiting till noon today for embattled GOP gubernatorial candidates Dan Maes and Scott McInnis to agree to step out of the race after the August 10 primary. The “Tank” told the Denver Post Monday morning that his mind is made up, that Maes and McInnis will not agree to his terms– to exit the race if polls show they trail Democrat John Hickenlooper after the primary– so Tancredo is now running for governor as an American Constitution Party candidate.

“What’s your agenda? What are you going to talk about?” Wadhams asked on the Peter Boyles talk radio show this morning. “Impeach Obama and bomb Mecca?”

Former Colorado Congressman Tancredo ran for president in 2008 on what he has called a one-topic platform that focused exclusively on illegal immigration. Tancredo hosts a talk radio show in which he often discusses immigration as a centerpiece part of his conservative politics. He made news in the spring for traveling to the U.S. border in Arizona and tweeting the murder of a borderland rancher and the pursuit for the killer, an alleged illegal immigrant or trafficker in illegal immigration. He has also spoken at events in support of Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, SB 1070.

Sunday, he told listeners on his KHOW radio show that he was prepared to draw on his 20,000-member donor list to jump into the race immediately. The candidacy of Tancredo, an icon of the far right in Colorado, will sink any chance the struggling GOP candidates have of winning Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter’s office.

Maes, a political novice, was recently found guity of violating campaign finance rules. McInnis is weathering a plagiarism scandal in which he lifted articles he was paid $300,000 by the Hasan Family Foundation to produce.

The Colorado Statesman is reporting that present American Constitution Party gubernatorial candidate Ben Goss is defending Tancredo’s party shift as longtime coming.

“A lot of people are trying to cast Tancredo as an opportunist — that’s wrong. He didn’t just jump into this — it’s a culmination of two years of talks with Tom,” said Goss.

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