Lawsuit Seeks To Remove Tom Tancredo From Ballot In Colorado

09/09/2010 02:34 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A lawsuit filed this week by two Colorado Republican voters seeks to keep third-party gubernatorial candidate--and former Republican--Tom Tancredo off the ballot.

The lawsuit claims that Tancredo changed his party affiliation from Republican to American Constitution Party too late to be eligible for the state ballot:

Plaintiffs Marian Olson of Golden and Joseph Harrington of Highlands Ranch, both registered Republicans, now allege that Tancredo's switch from Republican to American Constitution Party occurred too late for him to be eligible as the ACP's nominee. Tancredo, they contend, was nominated by the party vacancy committee "in direct contravention of applicable state law and the American Constitution Party's" rules.

"Tancredo's eleventh-hour candidacy for Governor was initiated for the express purpose of disrupting the process of selecting the Republican nominee for Governor by primary election," the plaintiffs contend.

If Tancredo and his running mate, Patricia Miller, are included on the ballot, the plaintiffs allege, it "will undermine the integrity" of the ballot system and "result in a general election marred by chaos and turmoil."

Before the August 10 Colorado primaries, Tancredo (a former Republican congressman) threatened to launch a third-party bid for governor unless the two scandal-plagued GOP candidates agreed to drop their campaigns and allow the party to choose a more viable nominee.

Neither agreed to exit the race, and Tancredo switched his party affiliation to run as a member of the right-wing American Constitution Party.

Little-known businessman Dan Maes ended up capturing the nomination, and has subsequently become embroiled in several embarrassing distractions. Most polls have shown Tancredo and Maes splitting the conservative vote, effectively handing the election to Democrat John Hickenlooper.

Last week Maes defied many senior Colorado Republicans and decided to stay on the ballot despite pressure to drop out. On Wednesday 20 state Republican leaders threw their support behind Tancredo.

Tancredo has publicly stated that he is not concerned about the lawsuit, which is not in any way associated with the Colorado Republican Party.

A hearing has been scheduled for Monday.

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