With 100 percent of the vote counted, Republican tea party favorite and Evergreen businessman Dan Maes continued the Colorado GOP trend of sweeping aside establishment frontrunners by defeating former six-term congressman Scott McInnis in Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary.
Maes won by just over 5,300 votes, 196,560 to 191,209 – a margin of 51 to 49 percent. Tea party favorite Ken Buck also defeated party favorite Jane Norton to win the GOP’s U.S. Senate nomination.
Maes immediately began calling for American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo to get out of the governor’s race.
Tancredo, also a former Republican congressman and in some circles popular anti-immigration advocate, got into the race after major campaign blunders by both Maes and McInnis, including campaign finance violations by Maes and a plagiarism scandal for McInnis.
There is concern in the GOP that Tancredo will split the vote and allow Democratic Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper – unchallenged in the primary – to walk away with the general election in November.