by Chet Hardin
Congressman Doug Lamborn tells a small crowd of GOP operatives and staffers, along with a klatch of media, outside the Pioneers Museum this afternoon that "just this one time” he will not be supporting a Republican.
Announcing his support for third-party candidate Tom Tancredo in the three-way gubernatorial race, Lamborn says, “I have concluded that Tom is the only electable conservative candidate for governor. That means that he is the only candidate that can turn our state around.”
“Putting my party loyalties aside,” he continues, “I ask for and I plead for every Republican and every conservative, and every Democrat, to vote for Tom Tancredo.”
El Paso County is an important get for Tancredo, as it was here that Republican candidate Dan Maes got the crucial boost that ensured his besting of primary challenger, Scott McInnis.
“I don’t expect ever again to have to ask people to vote for someone who is not the Republican candidate, but this is a unique situation,” Lamborn says.
What’s so unique about it? What it comes down to is the numbers, Lamborn tells the Independent. In the most recent Rasmussen polling, Tancredo trails the front-runner, Democrat John Hickenlooper, by 8 points, with 35 percent. Trailing far behind both is the controversy-addled Maes, with only 16 percent.
"His candidacy has imploded," Lamborn says of Maes, "he simply is unelectable in this race."
Of course, a win for Tancredo will most assuredly guarantee that the Republican Party fails to receive 10 percent of the vote in the statewide election, and lose its major party status. And now it appears that through his campaigning for Tancredo, Lamborn might be also campaigning for this result.
"That's a concern," Lamborn admits, "but the bigger concern is losing the governor's seat for four to eight years. Because rather than being in power as a party, it is the principles within the party that are the most important. It is what the party stands for. So, someone who stands for the same principles of the party, such as Tom Tancredo, can fulfill what we want as Republicans, whereas our own candidate is simply unelectable and can't do that."