Leaders of 21 state Tea Party groups, representing about 10,000 people, said Sunday they have been betrayed by Tom Tancredo and in an open letter beseeched the former congressman not to run for governor as a third-party candidate.The first thing I noticed was that should the GOP gubernatorial candidates refuse to drop out of the race, Tancredo will look to run for governor as the American Constitution Party - a third party that more closely resembles the tea party movement then the Republican party. Those from the various tea party groups that disagree with Tancredo make an excellent political argument, stating that Tancredo's third party candidacy will hand the election over to the Democrat.
Tancredo has given Republican gubernatorial candidates until noon today to commit to pulling out of the governor's race after the primary if polls show the winner trailing Democrat John Hickenlooper.
If that doesn't happen, Tancredo says, he'll run for governor as the American Constitution Party candidate.
Tancredo's declaration last week — the most recent drama to plague the state's GOP gubernatorial primary — sparked anger among the diffuse Tea Party groups around Colorado.
Those leaders say it was Tancredo who had always urged them to work within the Republican Party, rather than splinter it. He has long inspired fierce loyalty from the groups because of his stance on illegal immigration.
"Together our groups strongly urge you to reconsider, withdraw your ultimatum, stay in the Republican Party, let the process play out for the governor's race," said the letter signed by 21 active Tea Party and 9.12 groups. "In other words, to trust and respect the newly awakened, energized and informed voters of Colorado."
What I found interesting was that his bid reminded me of Charlie Crist's shift to run as an independent for the Florida senate seat, minus the entire party trying to preempt the moderate Republican's campaign by threatening to punish senior Republicans who support the governor. Tancredo vows to run on an even more conservative platform and all the GOP can do is to ask him not to? To me, it sounds as if the tea partiers like Tancredo's decision and only feel betrayed because he had asked them to change the GOP from within (which they obviously have not otherwise he wouldn't be running).
I hope that Tancredo does run, and I hope that the tea partiers stay true to their convictions, not their political affiliations - if Tancredo and the Constitution party represent their interests, they need to vote with Tancredo, not the GOP. Why do I wish this? While I may not like the tea party, I find it very interesting that they are willing to support a political party they do not like. Should they vote for Tancredo, then we would find out just where the electorate stands, and I am sure that the Democrats would capture more votes then the GOP, with Tancredo siphoning off the far-right fringe.