Tancredo gets ruling, poll boosts
Tom Tancredo will be on the fall ballot despite a court challenge to remove him from it.
A Denver District Court judge ruled Tuesday the former Republican’s switch to the American Constitution Party to run as a candidate for Colorado governor was done legally.
Two GOP activists, Marian Olsen and Joseph Harrington, sued Tancredo, his lieutenant governor running mate, Patricia Miller, and the American Constitution Party, claiming they violated election laws because Tancredo and Miller had not been members of the ACP for the required six months.
District Judge William Hood said state law does not allow parties to waive such requirements when nominating candidates for elective office, but they can do so when replacing candidates. Ben Goss and his running mate, Douglas Campbell, quit the race to make way for Tancredo and Miller.
“The fact that Mr. Tancredo and Ms. Miller were longtime registered Republicans until they switched parties, ‘at the 11th hour’ as plaintiffs put it, and were then designated by ACP to fill these vacancies is irrelevant because the plain language of the controlling statute does not preclude that path to the ballot,” Hood wrote in his order terminating the case.
“Moreover, ACP’s effort to waive any affiliation and disaffiliation requirements are similarly irrelevant,” Hood wrote. “The ACP acted as it did out of an abundance of caution, given the potential for this litigation. Regardless of ACP’s motivation for invoking the waiver provisions, the court concludes that the provision simply does not apply.”
Tancredo left the Republican Party last month, saying he did so because the GOP candidate for governor, Dan Maes, was so tainted by campaign-finance violations and questions about his professional background that Maes had little to no chance of defeating the Democrat in the race, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.
Coincidentally, a new Rasmussen poll released Tuesday shows Tancredo leading Maes for the first time since Tancredo entered the race.
According to the poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, Tancredo leads Maes 25 percent to 21 percent. Hickenlooper, however, leads them both with 46 percent, according to the telephone poll of 750 likely voters.
The poll also showed 88 percent of Colorado Democrats support Hickenlooper, while voters not affiliated with either major party favored Hickenlooper 41 percent to Tancredo’s 32 percent and Maes’ 17 percent.
Tancredo was happy about both pieces of news.
“The high-paid Republican lawyers managed to present a case that was weaker than their candidate,” Tancredo said in a statement. “Their attempt to impede my candidacy has now failed in the courts as well as on the campaign trail. Now our focus must turn to the liberal mayor of the sanctuary city of Denver.”