Tom Tancredo Reportedly Dropping Out of Governor's Race

Tom Tancredo says money is the reason he's giving up his bid to become Colorado's governor.
Tom Tancredo says money is the reason he's giving up his bid to become Colorado's governor. Photo by Kenzie Bruce
The 2018 race for governor of Colorado just got a lot less interesting. Tom Tancredo has reportedly dropped out of the contest, citing an inability to raise enough money for him to be competitive.

The scoop was scored by Colorado Politics' Ernest Luning, to whom Tancredo said, "I do not want to win a primary and lose a general, and I fear that was where we were going. ... Even though I’m the frontrunner — you make it through a primary, and then all hell breaks loose, you have millions upon millions of dollars spent attacking you, and you can’t respond, you don’t have the resources to respond. It appeared to me the goal — winning the general, that was the main goal — and it does not appear to me to be feasible."

We've reached out to Tancredo and will share his thoughts in this space when he gets back to us. But back in November, he took part in a wide-ranging interview headlined "Tom Tancredo on Why He's Confident He Can Win Colorado Governor's Race."

At the time, Tancredo said one factor in his decision to seek the governor's seat was a poll showing "I was tied with Jared Polis," a Democrat and sitting member of Congress who announced that he would dip into his personal fortune to help him win. "Now, we were both in the 20s, with 40-some percent undecided. But the fact was, I wasn't in the race! I hadn't even announced and I was tied with Jared Polis. That seemed to me to be a pretty good indicator that I do have a chance and perhaps I've got the best chance against a guy like Polis."

Even in this context, though, Tancredo acknowledged fiscal realities.

A vintage shot of Tom Tancredo astride his motorcycle.
"I'm going to need to have financial support," he conceded. "I don't have it personally, and I'm never going to get it from the Republican establishment. And I'm sure not going to get it from the Democrat establishment. So I've got to get it from somewhere."

He added: "We always have the highest percentage of small donors, and I'm very proud of that. But it's also very difficult to raise lots of money, especially in a state where the most you can give is $1,150 [due to campaign finance limits]. And you're talking about millions being raised on the other side. So I need help, and I'd be happy if someone helped."

Apparently, no one stepped up to the plate. Tancredo told Luning his campaign had set a benchmark of raising $150,000 by mid-January, but he fell well short of that mark. Moreover, state treasurer Walker Stapleton is doing everything he can to portray himself as the inevitable Republican nominee, and dollars are flowing freely to him as a result.

Whether this scenario will come to pass is far from clear at this point, particularly given that Stapleton still has an abundance of GOP rivals, including Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, entrepreneur Victor Mitchell and Denver for Trump chair Steve Barlock, among others. But he's no doubt counting his lucky stars that Tancredo has removed himself from the galaxy of hopefuls.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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