This past weekend, Tom Tancredo told Patricia Calhoun that with a few days, he'd make some kind of announcement about the governor's race, which is a mess on the Republican side thanks to Scott McInnis's plagiarism problems and Dan Maes's assorted challenges. And that's one campaign promise he's kept. He wants McInnis and Maes out, or else -- he's in.
Tancredo describes his plan in the following release:
Events of the past two weeks have developed in such a way as to create an unprecedented situation in the race for Governor of Colorado. The two candidates vying for the Republican nomination have, in my opinion, lost any hope of carrying out a successful campaign.
This situation is unacceptable to me, and I am sure, to thousands of other Colorado Republicans, Independents and other Colorado voters whose hopes for a change to a smaller and fiscally responsible government in Colorado in November now seem dashed. To achieve this goal the winner of the August Republican primary must step down and allow the Party to appoint a viable replacement candidate to face John Hickenlooper and the Obama-Pelosi smear machine. It is up to the Party to pick that replacement except that it is imperative he or she be a solid conservative with a chance to win the general election in November.
There are, because of time and party registration constraints imposed by state election laws and party rules, very few other options open to those Coloradans who seek a solution to this dilemma.
I, for one, will do what is necessary within those limitations to avoid the electoral disaster looming on the horizon. That disaster would not be limited to the loss of the Governor's race, but of many "down ticket" races. The grass roots electorate would lack any incentive to get to the polls.
Therefore, today I am asking for a public commitment from both Scott McInnis and Dan Maes that they will do what is right for the state of Colorado. Regardless of the outcome of the Primary election on August 10, on August 11 the winner must agree to remove himself from consideration if polling on that date shows that he is losing the race for Governor. If either or both choose to ignore this request, and do not make a public commitment to this end no later than noon on Monday, July 26, I will announce on that day that I will seek the nomination of the American Constitution Party for Governor of Colorado.
If I run, I will do so to the best of my ability and will do so through the November election. A great deal needs to be done for any candidate to put together a competitive campaign. Of course that includes raising the money necessary for such a race. Every hour of delay makes that a more difficult task.
This decision is completely in the hands of Dan Maes and Scott McInnis.
Gleeful Denver Post columnist Mike Littwin treats this declaration as an opportunity for a slew of (pretty funny) one-liners in today's edition, but Republican heavyweights like Dick Wadhams aren't laughing. After all, it's practically impossible to imagine a scenario in which either McInnis or Maes would accept Tancredo's "offer" -- and if Big Tom follows through on his pledge, the split Republican vote would likely hand the governor's mansion keys to one John Hickenlooper.
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And it would also deliver the most potentially entertaining statewide campaign in recent memory -- for which every political junkie or any bias should immediately give a silent prayer of thanks.