Former GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo Drops Out of Colorado Governor's Race

'Anti-establishment' candidate cites fundraising problems

Former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo / Getty Images
January 30, 2018

Former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo is dropping out of the Colorado governor's race, citing fundraising issues as the reason.

"I do not want to win a primary and lose a general, and I fear that was where we were going," he told Colorado Politics, which first broke the story late Tuesday.

Tancredo has at times closely resembled some of the hallmark political traits of President Donald Trump: an immigration firebrand with a populist touch who has also made controversial remarks while showing a disdain for political correctness.

Tancredo announced his candidacy last year not long after having met Steve Bannon in Colorado Springs, to discuss the political lay of the land for the 2018 midterms. While Tancredo was clearly friendly with Bannon, he also denied the former White House strategist was his political sponsor.

Those conversations with Bannon occurred before Alabama elected Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate, the first Democrat elected to the Senate from that state in the last 25 years. Bannon had championed Roy Moore in that race, and Jones's election was seen as a rebuke of the former Trump adviser.

Fundraising will be a key issue in the race, as the presumed Democratic front-runner, Rep. Jared Polis, can underwrite his campaign. Based on financial disclosures, Polis is generally assumed to be one of the ten richest members currently serving in Congress.

"I can't do this and risk taking resources away from other Republican races," Tancredo said. "I can't risk doing this and allowing Polis to win as a result of being able to make me into the devil incarnate because he has the resources to do it, and I don't have the resources to respond. The risks are too high given where we are and given the financial situation that exists in my campaign. I don't want to do anything that would turn this state over to a Democrat, especially at this point in time."

According to the most recent campaign finance filing with the Colorado Secretary of State's office, Tancredo ended 2017 having raised just over $80,000, and had $63,000 on hand.

Tancredo ran for president in 2008 on an anti-immigration platform, and lost two previous runs for Colorado governor.

John Hickenlooper, the Democrat currently serving as Colorado's governor and former mayor of Denver, is term limited out of office in January. He has been mentioned in national conversations as a presidential or vice-presidential possibility.

Published under: 2018 Election , Colorado