Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo told KNUS talk-radio host Craig Silverman last week that he will not try to qualify for the Republican primary ballot via a petition drive. Instead, he said, he will rely on a vote of Republican Party faithfuls gathered at the GOP state convention, which will likely occur in April.
“The ability to petition on has almost been totally destroyed for people in my financial position, which is not a multi-millionaire,” said Tancredo on air, adding that it would take $1 million to gather enough signatures to make the GOP primary ballot.
Gubernatorial candidates can make the gubernatorial primary ballot by getting over 30 percent of the vote at the state assembly. If a candidate only gets 10 percent, he or she cannot be placed on the ballot at all, even if they meet the requirements for gaining access via petition.
Money aside, Tancredo’s choice of the assembly is no surprise, as he has a loyal base of support among party activists who participate in the assembly, say GOP observers. This core support would also give him a leg up in what is likely to be a crowded GOP primary field, if he makes the ballot.
It’s not known how unaffiliated voters, who will have the option of participating in the gubernatorial primary for the first time this year, will affect the election, if at all. These voters could push the parties to the center, some say. Others believe they could support unconventional or extreme candidates of either party.
Moneyed campaigns could possibly push segments of unaffiliated toward any candidate, moderate or extreme. Thus well-financed campaigns could prove to have an especially big advantage this year in the primary.
During the KNUS interview, Tancredo also said he and Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, a fellow GOP gubernatorial candidate, were “great pals” when the two tried in 2015 to “get rid” of Steve House as chair of the State Republican Party.
But since Tancredo has been attacking Coffman’s husband, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, Tancredo said he thinks he’s “lost whatever friendship [with Coffman] we might have had.” Conceivably, the Coffmans’ impending divorce could change Tancredo’s relationship with the attorney general, said Tancredo on air.
Tancredo told Silverman he has not spoken with House since he and Coffman plotted to oust him.
Tancredo said former GOP chair Dick Wadhams must not be following his campaign very closely if he believes, as Silverman alleged, that immigration is Tancredo’s sole issue. He said he’s focusing on multiple issues, including safety and education.
Tancredo said he’d still welcome support from Trump adviser Steve Bannon, despite the loss of Bannon-backed Roy Moore, who lost to Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama.
Tancredo said he was impressed in a recent debate by Greg Lopez, one of his GOP opponents in the primary race.
Tancredo’s other opponents in the primary race to represent the Republican party in November’s gubernatorial race include state Coffman, former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez, Mitt Romney’s nephew Doug Robinson, state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, and businessmen Victor Mitchell and Steve Barlock.