Arvada mortician enters GOP field for governor

Another Republican entered the race for Colorado governor last week, bringing to six the number vying for the GOP nomination and the right to face Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper next year.

Meanwhile, any worries that Hickenlooper won’t be the candidate to beat in 2014 were put to rest when he created his campaign account with the Secretary of State’s Office, indicating officially that he’s seeking re-election.

The newest Republican to enter the race is George Malesich, an Arvada resident who operates a funeral home there, Malesich and Shirey Mortuary and Crematory.

The candidate, who holds no elected office, could not be reached for comment.

According to his funeral home’s website, however, Malesich, 65, has been in that business for more than two decades.

A native of Leadville, Malesich has a degree from the University of Colorado and spent a 23-year career in the U.S. Air Force, retiring in 1993 as a lieutenant colonel.

Malesich enters an already crowded field to be the Republican nominee, joining the likes of former congressman Tom Tancredo, state Sen. Greg Brophy and Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who has created a campaign account for the seat, but not yet formally announced his bid.

Others include two with local ties, Republicans Michael Frick of Loma and Jim Rundberg of Meeker, who grew up in Parachute.

In addition to the six, two other Republicans have talked about entering: Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler and former state Sen. Michael Kopp of Littleton.

Tancredo said he’s pleased to see more Republicans get into the race because he believes that will mean he will win the nomination with little difficulty.

The former congressman and presidential contender, who lost a bid for governor as a member of the American Constitution Party in 2010, said he has a more loyal voting base among Republicans, enough to put him over the top come primary time.

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