DENVER — Former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo said Tuesday he was abandoning Colorado’s Republican gubernatorial race, confident he could win a primary but arguing he didn’t want to harm the party’s chances of capturing the governor’s seat in November.
Tancredo told Denver’s KCNC-TV he believes he would win Colorado’s crowded GOP primary. But he said he doesn’t want to siphon resources that could allow a Democrat, especially U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, to win the election.
Colorado’s Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is term-limited.
Tancredo is a five-term former congressman from Denver’s southern suburbs. He advocated for strict immigration laws and enforcement. He also contributed to conservative Breitbart News, formerly run by Steve Bannon, the onetime adviser to President Donald Trump.
Tancredo didn’t immediately return a telephone message left by The Associated Press seeking comment.
He told Colorado Politics on Tuesday that he didn’t raise the money needed to win. He cited Polis, one of Congress’ wealthiest members, as a factor in his decision.
Tancredo raised $74,480 through the end of 2017 and had $62,996 in the bank, according to campaign finance reports.
“I do not want to win a primary and lose a general, and I fear that was where we were going,” he said. “I can’t do this and risk taking resources away from other Republican races.”
Eight Republicans and seven Democrats want to succeed Hickenlooper.
GOP contenders include State Treasurer Walker Stapleton and businessman Vic Mitchell, among others. Polis, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne and former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy are running on the Democratic side.
Tancredo ran for governor in 2010 and 2014 — the first time as a candidate of the American Constitution Party. He lost the 2014 primary to former U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez.