Republicans are in a bind in the Colorado gubernatorial race, but nominee Dan Maes isn’t going to drop out to fix it.According to a statement by state party chairman Dick Wadhams, Tom Tancredo offered to drop out of the race if Maes did. Tancredo is running as a third-party candidate, making good on a threat he made before the primary, when he demanded that Maes and the other leading Republican candidate, Scott McInnis, drop out of the race after the primary and allow the party to pick a fresh nominee. Both Maes and McInnis had been hit with campaign scandals, and Tancredo argued that neither was in a position to beat Democrat John Hickenlooper in the general. And now that Tancredo’s in and splitting the conservative vote, polls of the three-way race show Tancredo essentially handing the race to Hickenlooper. The TPM Poll Average shows Hickenlooper (44.8%) with a big lead over both Maes (26.3%) and Tancredo (22%).
According to Wadhams, Tancredo approached him Monday with an offer: I’ll drop out if Maes does. Wadhams took that offer to Maes.
“I felt it was my responsibility as state chairman to inform Dan of this offer since it held open the possibility of eliminating the current three-way race that gives the Democratic candidate a huge advantage,” Wadhams wrote.
But Maes, who just yesterday selected his running mate, rejected the offer. Wadhams says he continues to support Maes for governor.
Meanwhile, The Denver Post reports that Maes spoke on the phone with leaders from the Republican Governors Association yesterday. Anonymous Colorado Republicans told the Post that the RGA informed Maes the group had decided not to pay for television and other ads in support of his campaign.
“We’re certainly hopeful for their help, but we’re not expecting anything,” Maes spokesperson Nate Strauch told the Post.
Read Wadhams’ full statement: