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Tom Tancredo Tells GOP Candidates For Colorado Governor: Get Out Or I'll Run

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UPDATE (7/23): 7News cites officials from the McInnis campaign and the Republican Party in reporting that the party will try to force the winner of the GOP primaries off of the general election ballot.

"The Republican Governors Association will also let him know it won't support him," a source told 7News. "It won't be easy to get him out. It may take (Association Chairman) Haley Barbour to make the call."

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UPDATE (7/23): The Denver Post reports that the Colorado GOP is investigating its legal options to keep Tom Tancredo off the ballot. The party has not yet decided to pursue a legal challenge, but--as GOP attorney Ryan Call told the Post--many in the party believe Tancredo joining a party's ticket this late in the campaign cycle is "unfair, inappropriate and prejudicial."

WATCH GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams On KDVR:


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UPDATE:Tom Tancredo has issued an ultimatum to both Scott McInnis and Dan Maes. Tancredo told both candidates to promise to drop out of the Colorado Governor's race after the August 10 primaries, or he will run as an American Constitution Party candidate.

Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams has responded to Tancredo's statement by saying he's "terribly disappointed."

From Wadhams's Statement:

"Tom Tancredo used the Colorado Republican Party to get elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in the 1970's, to work as a political appointee in the Reagan administration in the 1980's, and to get elected to Congress from 1998 to 2008. But now it appears he wants to destroy Republican chances to win a governor's race after four failed years of Bill Ritter."

"This past December, Tom Tancredo wrote a compelling op-ed calling on Tea Party and 9-12 activists to not form a third party because previous conservative third parties 'succeeded in electing the more liberal candidate after many conservatives waste their votes on a third party candidate.' Tom Tancredo should remember his own words."

"Let there be no mistake about it: Regardless of who our nominee is for governor after the primary, if Tom Tancredo carries through on his threat to run as a third party candidate, he will be responsible for the election of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper as governor and for other races that will be imperiled as well."

Read Tancredo's statement:

Events of the past two weeks have developed in such a way as to create an unprecedented situation in the race for Governor of Colorado. The two candidates vying for the Republican nomination have, in my opinion, lost any hope of carrying out a successful campaign.

This situation is unacceptable to me, and I am sure, to thousands of other Colorado Republicans, Independents and other Colorado voters whose hopes for a change to a smaller and fiscally responsible government in Colorado in November now seem dashed.

To achieve this goal the winner of the August Republican primary must step down and allow the Party to appoint a viable replacement candidate to face John Hickenlooper and the Obama-Pelosi smear machine. It is up to the Party to pick that replacement except that it is imperative he or she be a solid conservative with a chance to win the general election in November.

There are, because of time and party registration constraints imposed by state election laws and party rules, very few other options open to those Coloradans who seek a solution to this dilemma.

I, for one, will do what is necessary within those limitations to avoid the electoral disaster looming on the horizon. That disaster would not be limited to the loss of the Governor's race, but of many "down ticket" races. The grass roots electorate would lack any incentive to get to the polls.

Therefore, today I am asking for a public commitment from both Scott McInnis and Dan Maes that they will do what is right for the state of Colorado. Regardless of the outcome of the Primary election on August 10, on August 11 the winner must agree to remove himself from consideration if polling on that date shows that he is losing the race for Governor. If either or both choose to ignore this request, and do not make a public commitment to this end no later than noon on Monday, July 26, I will announce on that day that I will seek the nomination of the American Constitution Party for Governor of Colorado.

If I run, I will do so to the best of my ability and will do so through the November election.

A great deal needs to be done for any candidate to put together a competitive campaign. Of course that includes raising the money necessary for such a race. Every hour of delay makes that a more difficult task.

This decision is completely in the hands of Dan Maes and Scott McInnis.

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DENVER (AP) - Former GOP congressman Tom Tancredo is negotiating with the American Constitution Party to run for Colorado governor and replace their candidate on the ballot.

The move would give Tancredo a way to get on the November ballot without running as a Republican.

The American Constitution Party's candidate, Benjamin Goss, declined to say Thursday whether he was stepping down voluntarily.

Tancredo had raised the possibility of running unaffiliated or for a third party because he doesn't believe the two GOP candidates in the Aug. 10 primary can win against Democratic Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

Colorado Republican Party chairman Dick Wadhams says he believes Tancredo will have the "good judgment to not imperil our ability to win the governor's race."