A Colorado Republican party that appeared divided as recently as last week came together Monday morning around a conservative "Platform for Prosperity." The Platform, a product of weeks of negotiations between factions of the party, promises to repeal several of Governor Ritter's policies, cut government spending and force employers to verify new hires' immigration statuses.
Negotiations for a conservative platform began after Colorado Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry dropped out of the race for Governor, leaving moderate Scott McInnis without a serious opponent for the nomination. This prompted former Congressman and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, a Penry supporter, to publicly state that he would 'probably run' for governor. Tancredo agreed not to run under the condition that McInnis embrace a conservative policy agenda.
At a press conference on Monday morning, Tancredo publicly announced his support for McInnis. Penry, who had initially refused to endorse McInnis, declared his support over the weekend.
At a Sunday news conference, the governor belittled the conservative platform as "just (being) against things." He also asserted that the the Contract for Colorado is an example of Scott McInnis being co-opted by conservative elements of the GOP: "there's not anyone who has sat down with me and said I have to agree with (an) agenda to be my party's candidate," Ritter said. "We're keeping our focus on creating jobs and will let our actions speak for themselves."
In an interview with 9News, Colorado Republican party chairman Dick Wadhams said that McInnis would "start the contrast with Bill Ritter" right now."
McInnis spokesman Sean Duffy told Westword's Michael Roberts that the 600-page document deliberately avoids social issues like abortion and gay rights, and instead focuses on economic issues.
Watch the 9News report from last night: