A plagiarism scandal appears to have cost former Rep. Scott McInnis the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Colorado. McInnis lost to businessman Dan Maes (R) by more than 5,000 votes on Tuesday, despite being the better-known candidate in the race.

McInnis had been leading in the polls until last month, when it came out that the former congressman submitted plagiarized articles as part of a $300,000 fellowship. He later returned the money the Hasan Family Foundation paid him but announced he did so only shortly before the vote.

Meanwhile, Maes was hampered by having to pay $17,500 for campaign-finance violations and comments he made that a Denver bicycle-sharing program could "threaten our personal freedoms."

Maes and McInnis had been asked to withdraw from the field by Tom Tancredo. The former Republican congressman said it would be a "disaster" if either man was the party's nominee because of McInnis's plagiarism scandal and Maes's campaign-finance violations. Both refused and kept campaigning, prompting Tancredo to enter the race on the American Constitution Party ticket.

It'll now be a three-way race for the govenror's office between Tancredo, Maes and Democrat John Hickenlooper, who's favored to win.