Quit race, tea party group tells Maes

One of the first tea party organizations to support Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes now is asking him to endorse ex-Republican Tom Tancredo.

The West Slope Conservative Alliance issued an open letter Wednesday urging Maes to acknowledge the obvious and withdraw from the race.

Polls “show you at no more than 12 percent,” the alliance wrote in the letter. “You cannot win. We appreciate the fact that you did win the primary and went through the process and acknowledge that out of principle you want to see this thing through, however, this office and the state of Colorado are bigger than any one person.”

Maes’ spokesman, Nate Strauch, said only that Maes “has no plans to withdraw.”

Colorado Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams said he heard Maes on Thursday in a radio interview insist he would remain in the race.

“He was quite defiant,” Wadhams said. “I don’t anticipate him pulling out.”

Members of the alliance reached their decision Wednesday after debating for several days about whether to continue supporting Maes, board member Richard Schoenradt said.

“We don’t like to make rash, stupid decisions, so we talked about it,” Schoenradt said.

In the letter, the alliance cited Maes’ failure to be forthcoming about his employment experience as an undercover police officer in Liberal, Kan., questions about his use of campaign contributions, and his personal finances, which included a bankruptcy only recently disclosed.

“Your inability to be forthcoming from the start makes you look like just another politician,” the alliance said in the letter.

Capturing Maes’ remaining support could help Tancredo, the gubernatorial candidate of the American Constitution Party, against Democrat John Hickenlooper in the election, now less than two weeks off, the alliance said.

“We feel that nothing worse could befall Colorado than four more years of a liberal in the governor’s office,” the letter said.

Maes’ 12 percent support among those polled “could make the difference between a new day for Colorado and Sanctuary Colorado,” the letter said.

“Mr. Maes, the time has come to set aside ego and act with the honor and integrity we had hoped you possessed when you announced your candidacy,” the alliance wrote.

Alliance members aren’t necessarily endorsing Tancredo, “but he happens to be the only one who can defeat Hickenlooper,” Schoenradt said. “If we want to have conservative leadership, (Maes) has to pull out.”


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