DENVER - Tom Tancredo is running for governor.
No, this isn't 2010.
Nope, not 2014.
For the third straight gubernatorial election cycle, Tancredo is in.
"The good thing is I have a lot of name recognition, the bad thing is a have a lot of name recognition," said Tancredo.
In 2010, Tancredo ran as the American Constitution Party candidate, after a plagiarism scandal helped Dan Maes win the Republican nomination over Scott McInnis.
John Hickenlooper won that election with 51 percent of the vote over Tancredo's 36 percent.
In 2014, Bob Beauprez beat Tancredo in the Republican primary.
More recently, Tancredo has been in the news because of his defense of the white nationalist group VDARE, which was planning a conference in Colorado Springs in April.
"'We are opposed to illegal immigration,' that's it, that's the only thing that attracted me to them in the first place, but I don't believe they are a hate group," Tancredo said. "But you know, even if they turned out to be and they wanted to have a conference in Denver or in Colorado Springs, why wouldn't we all -- you in the media -- yeah, they have a right to do that."
The group canceled its conference after Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said the city would not provide any resources to the conference.
"The important concept is not who you're protecting, it's the First Amendment that you're protecting. It's free speech. Believe me, I don't like the things Antifa says. I think they are a hate group, but you know what, if I'm governor, they're going to be protected in their rights to express themselves, and so would VDARE," Tancredo said.
Tancredo was a board member of VDARE until last month. He said he needed to focus on this decision.
"If I was going to do this, I'm sure there are things -- although I must admit that I don't read them -- I'm sure there are things that they'll support that I won't, and I'm sure there are things I'll support that they won't," said Tancredo.
After VDARE canceled the conference, Tancredo was upset that not one Republican came to the group's defense and suggested he would run for governor as a result.
"I'm upset with anybody that does not speak out in favor of free speech. That's the issue, but that is not the motivating issue that gets me into a primary," Tancredo said.
He also made a statement that he didn't think Next would air or print. Here it is.
"I know who I am, and I am not a white supremacist. I am not a KKK supporter. I have no animus, zero, against any human being on this planet because of their skin color or because of their ethnicity," said Tancredo.
Denver ICE Agents Policy
You're probably more familiar with Tancredo for his strong stance against illegal immigration. If he were to become governor, his office would be across the street from Denver's City and County Building, where Mayor Michael Hancock recently signed an ordinance limiting the city's cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
"I would try my best to punish the city of Denver in any way I could for operating in such an illegal and reckless fashion," Tancredo said. "And if that meant, in some way denying funds to them, to the extent that a Governor can do that, and that's not clear I must tell you, I would do it."
Steve Bannon Involvement
Tancredo said he had met with Steve Bannon last month when Bannon was in Colorado Springs, but that the two had not talked since he made his decision to run.
"If Steve Bannon were to say to me, 'Tom, you know we can put a lot of money into this campaign,' I would say, 'Great, go right ahead,' but he has not said that," Tancredo said.
"If he said, 'We can help you. We can help you with financial support.' I would absolutely take it."
State GOP Support
In a response to Tancredo's announced candidacy, the Colorado Republican Party tweeted the following:
This state party is committed to perfect neutrality in the primary. Primary voters must be allowed free choice. May the best candidate win! https://t.co/ploH24pOxH— The Colorado GOP (@cologop) October 31, 2017
"Ba-da-boom," Tancredo said.
"Do you believe them?" asked Next reporter Marshall Zelinger.
"I do because I've talked to Jeff Hays about that very thing, and he has pretty much, straight to my face, and I think in a truthful way said, 'Hey, we're not going to get in. We're going to give you whatever we give anybody else," Tancredo said. "The Republican establishment is not on my side. Certainly, the Democratic establishment is not on my side, but I believe that there is a group of people, a large group of people, that will accept the fact that there is, sort of, an outsider candidate."
President Trump Support?
In 2016, Trump won all the counties Tancredo won in 2010 and more. Tancredo has no problems being side-by-side with Trump.
"It wouldn't bother me at all. I don't think he ever gets into these governor races," Trump said. "You know, if he wants to, that's cool. I'd like to have him come out and do a fundraiser."
"Is there anyone you don't want voting for you?" Zelinger asked.
"Yeah, I do not want anybody who is, in fact, a white supremacist or supports me on that basis. If that's why you're supporting me, I'll tell you, I don't want your vote because I'm not your guy."
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