Candidate stops in Craig |

Candidate stops in Craig

Brian Smith

Gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo talks about his campaign Sunday at the OP Bar & Grill during an interview with the Craig Daily Press. Tancredo, a former U.S. Representative for Colorado’s Sixth Congressional District, is the American Constitution Party’s candidate for governor.

Gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo talks about his campaign Sunday at the OP Bar & Grill during an interview with the Craig Daily Press. Tancredo, a former U.S. Representative for Colorado's Sixth Congressional District, is the American Constitution Party's candidate for governor.
Brian Smith

Gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo said he has heard many voters are opposed to electing candidates they consider "career politicians."

However, Tancredo, an American Constitution Party candidate, said just because a person has been involved in public policy for a long time, doesn't mean he or she fits that description.

"The best way to tell what anyone is going to do in the job they are seeking is to see what they've done in the jobs they've had of a similar nature — elected office," said Tancredo during a Sunday stop in Craig for a visit with the Craig Daily Press. "In my case, it has been a pretty consistent pattern of behavior, and that is conservative."

Tancredo, a former Congressman from Colorado's Sixth Congressional District, announced he would run for governor in July.

He said he was prompted to run after watching former Republican Congressman Scott McInnis' campaign for governor "collapse" before the August primary. That left voters with choices Tancredo felt wouldn't be best for Colorado.

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"We were left with a person no one had ever heard of in their life, who turned out to have a lot of problems including issues of integrity and veracity," said Tancredo of Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes. "It became apparent to me that the Republican candidates, neither Mr. McInnis nor Mr. Maes, could possibly win an election against a well-funded Democrat by the name of John Hickenlooper."

Hickenlooper, currently the mayor of Denver, ran unopposed in the August primary for the Democratic nod for governor.

Tancredo said splitting Republican votes with Maes and both candidates losing to Hickenlooper is something he constantly worries about.

He said various polls indicate his ratings are higher than Maes' and if either one was to drop out of the race, that candidate could defeat Hickenlooper in the November general election.

Tancredo said there was "no purpose" for Maes to be in the race.

"He can never win, and so he serves only one purpose here and that is giving the race to Hickenlooper," he said.

Moreover, Tancredo said the race has become "just personal" after Maes declined to withdraw.

"It just goes to show you that he never, ever, cared about the state," he said. "He just wanted the job, he wanted to be governor."

Tancredo said he could still win the governor's seat.

"It is a lot harder, of course, but I'm only six points behind, and six points can be made up," he said.

Tancredo said he has a clear idea of what he would do if he were to defeat Maes and Hickenlooper.

"If I am elected governor, we are going to cut taxes," he said. "We are going to cut government spending and we are going to deal with this recession the way a good conservative would deal with it, and that is to cut taxes to encourage business."

Tancredo said Northwest Colorado residents and the state's energy industry would "find a friend in the governor's mansion" if he is elected.

"I want to tell the people of this city and people all over rural Colorado that are dependent on energy extraction and the coal, oil and gas industries, that I am on their side," he said. "I understand the problems. I understand exactly what is going on and I understand what has to be done to change it."

Oil, natural gas and coal, Tancredo said, are industries Gov. Bill Ritter and Hickenlooper "don't like" and "don't want."

"What they are looking for is some sort of a green energy economy," he said. "Unfortunately, there is very little energy in a green energy economy and there are no jobs."

Moreover, Tancredo said the state has been as "hostile" to business development "as just about anywhere in the United States of America."

"We are getting a bad rap," he said. "We are getting to look like California, and Michigan and New York in terms of our tax policy and our attitude toward business."

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