DENVER — Former GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo jumped Tuesday into the crowded race for Colorado governor, the latest candidate aligned with former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon’s stable of challengers to the Republican establishment.
His announcement came after the Oct. 25 release of a Braynard Group poll showed Mr. Tancredo locked in a statistical tie with the top Democratic contender, Rep. Jared Polis, and leading the pack of GOP primary candidates.
“This morning I announced my candidacy for Colorado Governor!” Mr. Tancredo said Tuesday on Facebook.
Mr. Tancredo, known for his tough stances on immigration and border security, throws a wild card into an already packed Republican primary race that includes Mr. Stapleton, Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, former state Rep. Victor Mitchell and businessman Doug Robinson, a nephew of Mitt Romney.
“I think that all of the things we need to do in the state of Colorado really require some bold leadership,” Mr. Tancredo told Colorado Politics late Monday. “It will not be easy to get some real change here, but I think I can provide that kind of leadership. I’m not afraid of taking on tough issues and being bold.”
The announcement drew an immediate blast from Mr. Polis, who said the former five-term GOP congressman’s career “has been about championing white nationalism, vilifying immigrants, and fostering extremism.”
Mr. Polis is one of a handful of Democrats seeking to succeed Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is term-limited.
“We cannot allow Steve Bannon’s toxic brand of hate and white nationalism to take root in Colorado,” Mr. Polis said in his statement.
Mr. Tancredo told the Denver Post that he met last month with Mr. Bannon, who is recruiting anti-establishment Republicans to run for office, including against GOP incumbents.
“We have to anticipate what the establishment will do. It could get ugly,” said Mr. Tancredo, who also writes a column for Breitbart, the news outlet headed by Mr. Bannon.
Mr. Tancredo ran for governor in 2010 as an American Constitution Party candidate after Republicans nominated a little-known tea party figure. He also sought the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2014, losing to former Rep. Bob Beauprez.
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