Former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) defended his third-party run for Colorado governor at a recent campaign stop in Denver, denying his bid is driven by personal ambition or ego.
“I did not do this in order to create confusion or in order to advance a personal agenda,” Tancredo said regarding his run as the American Constitution Party candidate, as reported by the Douglas County News Press. “If it was all an ego-driven thing, I would have done this a long time ago.”
Tancredo proposed last week that both he and Republican nominee Dan Maes withdraw from the race for the good of the state's conservative movement. Maes, a first-time candidate who has been under scrutiny for possible campaign finance violations, rejected Tancredo's offer outright.
Some Republicans have suggested Maes step aside and allow a more experienced candidate to take his place. They point to his anemic fundraising as evidence of his long odds of defeating well-funded Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, the Democratic nominee. The possibility of Tancredo splitting the conservative vote is also a cause for concern.
But Tancredo pushed back against charges he is hurting conservatives, arguing he has better odds of winning the three-way race than Maes has of defeating Hickenlooper one-on-one. Tancredo said Maes cannot and should not win the general election.
“I don’t believe he is the person he says he is,” Tancredo said of Maes.
Maes, a favorite of the Tea Party movement, narrowly defeated former Rep. Scott McInnis in the primary. Maes's upset was aided by allegations of plagiarism that dogged McInnis' campaign.