Colorado

Aug 11, 2010 7:25 PM by Zach Thaxton

Tancredo Won't Exit Gov. Race, Says Maes Should Withdraw

Former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo tells News First 5 he will not withdraw from the race for governor and says Republican nominee Dan Maes is splitting the conservative vote and should withdraw.

Tancredo entered the race as a candidate for the American Constitutionalist Party after numerous scandals plagued Republican primary candidates Dan Maes and Scott McInnis.  Tancredo said McInnis' plagiarism scandal ruined McInnis' chances of defeating Democratic Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper in the November general election and he further classified Maes as "unelectable" due to his political inexperience, lack of name recognition, and insufficient funding to mount expensive media campaigns.

Just before midnight Tuesday, Maes declared himself the victor of the Republican primary, despite a very narrow 1-percent margin separating him and McInnis.  In his victory speech, Maes called Tancredo an "800-pound gorilla in the back of the room that we must address."  He then spoke directly to the former congressman, saying, "Mr. Tancredo, stop your campaign tonight."

Speaking with News First 5 Wednesday afternoon, Tancredo had the following message for Maes:  "Dan, it is probably a very good thing for you to do to get out of this race.  You're the third-party candidate now, and it's possible that you're going to split the vote."  Tancredo also reiterated his belief that Maes has no chance of defeating Hickenlooper in November.

"We, all of us, can beat the Democrats," Maes said in his victory speech Tuesday night.  "But (Tancredo's) involvement in this race makes that task exponentially more difficult.  I am asking you to end your race and help us beat the Democrats in November."

Maes earned 51 percent of the vote in Tuesday's Republican gubernatorial primary.  Hickenlooper ran unopposed.

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