Republican Tom Tancredo drops out of Colorado governor race

Posted at 2:18 PM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 00:39:57-05

DENVER — Former congressman Tom Tancredo announced Tuesday that he would be dropping out the race to be Colorado’s next governor. 

"Hey [Snowflakes]. You can come out [of] your safe spaces!" Tancredo tweeted after the news was first reported by CBS4 and ColoradoPolitics.

In an interview Tuesday afternoon, Tancredo said that his campaign had fallen far short of a fundraising goal it had set. He said the campaign had hoped to raise $150,000 by Jan. 15, but only ended up raising $75,000.

" I know it’s true that front-runners don’t drop out, and so everybody thinks there’s got to be other reasons. Because I am, I’m way ahead of everybody in the primary, right? But I swear to you, there isn’t. I just can’t make it work with no ability to raise the money," he said.

He said he entered the race believing he had a chance to win the governorship, but said he did not want to win a primary and lose the general election. He said that he believes Jared Polis will be the Democratic nominee, and that he couldn't keep up with the huge amounts of money being put into that campaign.

"I think Jared Polis is beatable. He is far, far more liberal than even Coloradans in the left wing of the Democratic party," Tancredo said. "The task would be having the resources to point it out."

Tancredo says he will support "the Republican nominee – whoever it is" in the race for the governorship, but didn't commit to any one candidate.

"I will certainly look for people who have a strong opinion about sanctuary cities...and keeping TABOR intact," he said.

But he admitted that Republicans face an uphill battle in a race that has already topped $10 million in fundraising, and in which Democrats have far outraised Republicans.

"It will be hard for any Republican to win this state," Tancredo said. "And when you look at the resources that I was able to gather, it wasn't going to work."

Colorado Democrats immediately seized on the announcement, which is expected to further shakeup a race in which recent polls have shown many voters are undecided for whom they will vote.

"Even former front-runner Tom Tancredo knows there is no path to victory for Trump-style politics in Colorado," Colorado Democrats spokesman Eric Walker said. "Tancredo might not be on the ballot, but his ideas will be....There are simiply no moderates left in the Colorado GOP."

Cynthia Coffman, a Republican candidate for governor, tweeted a link to donate to her campaign after the announcement.

"I’m grateful to Tom Tancredo for highlighting issues that don’t always get the attention they deserve, particularly educating the public on the dangers of unchecked and unaccountable sanctuary cities," Coffman added in a statement. "Tom's unique voice has been crucial in the debate over issues important to many Coloradans. He has a genuine concern for his state and is a steadfast champion of individual rights. I wish Tom all the best as he looks ahead to his next venture."

Tancredo's 2018 campaign, which he announced on Facebook in October of last year, marked his third straight try at the seat. 

Tancredo ran unsuccessfully for the seat in both 2010 and 2014. He lost the Republican primary to Bob Beauprez in 2014 after receiving 14,000 fewer votes and was the runner-up to John Hickenlooper in 2010 when he ran on the American Constitution Party ticket.

The Republican has been a controversial figure in Colorado politics for years. He drew fire in 2016 when he and his Team America PAC gave away a handgun as part of a fundraiser, and mistakenly stated that eight people were killed in an attack at a Minnesota mall carried out in the name of “radical Islam,” though no one was killed save for the suspect, who was shot dead by police.

Tancredo had also been set to speak at the VDARE conference that had been scheduled for this spring in Colorado Springs before it was canceled after one of its writers was found to have organized a white supremacist rally in Virginia that turned deadly.

Tancredo had previously served as Colorado’s representative for the sixth congressional district from 1999 to 2009.