Former state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt hosted a meet and greet in Colorado Springs last week for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo and other conservative candidates, where he also announced he’s weighing a run for a seat in Colorado’s House of Representatives.
Klingenschmitt, whose radical evangelism brought a great deal of controversy to the state legislature throughout his one term, told the crowd at The Airplane Restaurant in Colorado Springs that he’d run for the HD 17 seat if no other Republican candidate enters the race in the swing district, which is currently represented by Democrat Tony Exum.
Tancredo, who was the main speaker at the event, attempted to rally the attendees with nostalgia, arguing that “there were better times in Colorado.”
He focused on education as a key issue, claiming that education in America has gotten worse with the federal government’s involvement. Tancredo also said he believes “we shouldn’t have a Department of Education”.
Tancredo also argued that the state is spending too much money in general, and promised to cut spending on both education and Medicaid. Speaking about his love for Ronald Reagan, he told the audience that “my basement is a Reagan shrine.”
As is to be expected with the longtime immigration hardliner, Tancredo criticized both the Democratic and Republican establishment for their stances on immigration. He argued that the Democratic establishment views illegal immigrants as a source of voters that will always be dependent on the Democratic Party.
“They want a victimized class,” said Tancredo.
He criticized the Republican establishment by claiming that they view illegal immigrants as a source of cheap labor.
When asked about his stance on DACA, Tancredo denounced the existence of sanctuary cities but claimed that the issue was irrelevant to the gubernatorial race. However, he went on to emphasize the importance of securing U.S. borders and said that while he is not opposed to the expansion of DACA, he does not support pathways to citizenship.
“You have to be penalized for being here illegally even if you were born here,” said Tancredo, ending his speech with a warning to fellow Republicans, “I don’t want Jared Polis to be the Governor of Colorado.”
Other Republican candidates in attendance at the event included Mike Angley, who’s running for Sheriff of El Paso County, and Vickie Tonkins, a candidate for District 5 County Commissioner.
Angley voiced his concerns about the crime surge in El Paso County and his intention to “crack down” on the use of drugs. He also promised to go after public corruption as well as illegal immigration. Angley associated crime in El Paso County with gang influence from Mexican cartels and “the Cuban influence.”
Tonkins also spoke about the importance of being “hard on drugs” at the grassroots level. She emphasized the importance of citizens participating in politics, and after reading aloud the official role of County Commissioner promised to uphold the Constitution at any cost, even if nothing gets done.