From the speaking circuit in July to moving within five points of Democratic Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper
, Tom Tancredo
's independent streak is showing in the Colorado governor's race.
Tancredo, a Republican former congressman and 2008 presidential candidate, is primarily known for his strident stance against illegal immigration. He considered a run for governor a year ago, but stayed out of the race as party leaders tried to narrow the field for former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis.
But McInnis didn't make it to the August primary alone. Tea party favorite Dan Maes, a businessman with no political experience, was also on the ballot, despite allegations of campaign finance misspending that resulted in $17,000 in fines. And in July, damaging plagiarism charges surfaced
against McInnis. Democratic interests took advantage of those allegations, running $500,000 in attack ads
against McInnis, helping nudge Maes to a narrow win in the GOP primary.
As the GOP field imploded
, Tancredo jumped in, persuading the American Constitution Party candidate to step aside.
Since the primary, Maes has faced more damaging accusations and virtually all of his GOP supporters have abandoned him
show Maes garnering between 5 percent and 10 percent of the vote, with Tancredo trailing Hickenlooper by between 5 percent and 14 percent.
In an interview with Politics Daily (watch highlights at right, click here
for the full interview ), Tancredo returned to his signature issue of cracking down on illegal immigration. He also talked tough on the state budget, saying education and health care programs for the poor would have to be cut. And he said he'd try to turn back regulation of the oil and gas industry implemented by Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter, who announced in January that he wouldn't run for a second term.
And he left the door open to a return to the GOP fold as governor.
"If there's some purpose served by going back to the Republican Party, if it's easier to work with the legislature or something like that, yeah, I would certainly consider it," Tancredo said. "Parties, I must tell you, are not important to me. They really have little meaning anymore. I'm much more loyal to a philosophy of government called conservatism than I am to any party."
A T-shirt sold by Tea Party Brewing
show's Tancredo dressed in black with a white-hatted Hickenlooper in back. "I'm Your Huckleberry!," the pro-Tancredo shirt proclaims.
Tuesday, Coloradans will decide if that's the case.
Tagged: 2010 Elections
, 2010 Governors Elections
, 2010 Governors Races
, Colorado Elections
, Colorado Governors Race
, Dan Maes
, John Hickenlooper
, Karen Testerman
, New Hampshire Elections
, New Hampshire Governors Race
, Tom Tancredo