Democrats enter Colo. GOP gubernatorial primary, aim to tip race to Tancredo

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DENVER -- With less than three weeks left in Colorado's four-way GOP gubernatorial primary contest, the outside money is starting to flow -- from Republicans and Democrats.

A newly-formed group called "Protect Colorado Values" is about to hit the airwaves with two different ads focused on the two Republican front-runners, Tom Tancredo and Bob Beauprez.

Both appear to be attack ads, but a single viewing of the two spots makes it clear what the group, a partnership between the independent expenditure committee of the Democratic Governors Association and other Colorado-based progressive donor organizations, is trying to do.

Simply put, the one-two punch is a thinly-veiled effort to help Tom Tancredo win the GOP gubernatorial nomination.

The 30-second spot focused on Beauprez, titled "Both Ways", hits the former congressman for voting for "earmarks and spending bills while the national debt ballooned" and for supporting "the individual mandate that's the cornerstone of Obamacare", two lines of attack that are likely to turn off conservative primary voters.

The 30-second spot focused on Tancredo labels him "one of the country's strongest opponents of Obamacare", notes he called the Affordable Care Act "a scam" and concludes with this: "Tom Tancredo: He's just too conservative for Colorado."

That's likely to be catnip for conservatives.

"It's a good period of time while there's some attention on this race to try and reinforce some negatives," a Democratic operative close to the group told FOX31 Denver.

Make no mistake: the Beauprez ad is designed to hurt the GOP establishment's choice with more conservative primary voters while the Tancredo spot, ostensibly an attack ad, is likely to solidify his support with conservatives who widely disdain Obamacare.

While observers generally believe Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is a heavy favorite to win a second term no matter which candidate emerges from the June 24 GOP primary, Democrats believe Tancredo would be the easiest to defeat and that his candidacy, allowing them to pick through years of controversial statements and votes, could impact the rest of the GOP ticket, possibly dragging down U.S. Senate hopeful Cory Gardner, the Republican congressman challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in a race that could determine control of the Senate.

A similar situation played out in 2010, when Democrats spent $500,000 near the end of a Republican primary to help finish off the scandal-tarnished Scott McInnis.

Republicans, left with Dan Maes as the party's gubernatorial nominee, struggled to regroup and split further when Tancredo, running on a third party line, entered the race but failed to convince Maes to drop out.

Ultimately, Democrats won not just the governor's race but a highly unlikely, narrow victory in a blockbuster U.S. Senate race.

Over the next three weeks as the Republican primary plays out, it's possible more voters will see these ads paid for by Democrats than those being run by Republicans.

Tancredo, Beauprez and Secretary of State Scott Gessler all have their own ads running on cable statewide.

The two spots from "Protect Colorado Values" are backed by a "substantial" six-figure buy and will run statewide for three weeks starting Thursday on local and cable airwaves.

With Beauprez getting some help from a newly-formed 527 group, "Republicans Who Want to Win", it's increasingly likely that big outside money, not the paltry sums raised by the candidates themselves, will determine the outcome of the GOP's nominating contest.

During his press conference Thursday afternoon, Beauprez said he didn't have a problem with the Republican's 527 group, just a Democratic 527 trying to influence a Republican primary; and he called on Hickenlooper to renounce the ads.

"Hickenlooper and his allies have resorted to dishonest, negative attacks and underhanded tactics intended to do one thing: take away the right of honest Republicans to choose their own nominee for governor," Beauprez said.




  • dapandico

    Along with help from Eli. Where is the report on Steyer pumping money into Udall’s campaign? Is this considered good money and not bad money?

  • Andrew Good (@Drewbueno)

    Considering that Tancredo’s polling among the independents that will decide the governor’s race (along with turnout, which everyone expects will not be a problem for the GOP this year) is higher than his primary opponents, I’d say this is a risky strategy for the wealthy progressives who pour money into campaigns. Assuming it works, I’ll be looking forward to Tancredo laying out the case for true conservative (small-government) governance of Colorado. Hick and his ivory-tower central-planning approach will have his hands full.

    • Mic

      Tancredo is a sure loss for the GOP. Keep in mind who the majority of Colorado voters will be and Tancredo’s stance on immigration will guarantee his loss.

      • Dick Peabody

        I’m curious MIC, just which group is it that you think will be the “majority of Colorado voters?” I presume you’ll say Hispanics but regardless, Tancredo will do just fine with the Hispanics who are American citizens. They understand that illegal immigration robs them and their kids of job opportunities and raises their taxes too. They understand that when teachers spend huge amounts of time trying to teach a Spanish speaking kid math that it’s THEIR child’s education that suffers. Tom Tancredo has been wrongly painted as a racist when what he’s doing is advocating for the rights of ALL American citizens and nothing more. The Hispanics I know realize this.

  • Brooks Imperial

    No denying it, Hickenlooper is a smooth talker. For their candidate in November, Republicans need to choose the one who is most adept in extemporaneous, substantive speech. Now that the Left has started framing the candidates, Republicans need to consider the sources of all that propaganda, look past it, and stay on offense with constructive solutions. The 4 R’s need to stay on points and not get caught up defending against straw Leftist men.

  • WEH

    Just got a flyer from the group “Protect Colorado Values”. Thanks PCV for letting me know what Tom Tancredo stands for. I agree with him on every issue you named. You need to change the name of your group and take out the word “values” you liberals have no values. See you in November.

    • annpirie

      I agreed when I read that flyer . . . with every issue Tancredo stands for . . . what I am getting out of all this rhetoric is that they think Tancredo can’t beat Hick so they want him to win the primary.

      • jakebrake77

        I really don’t care who the GOP runs against the Hickster, his pardon of that reprobate Nathan Dunlap secured my vote for anyone but him!

        Dr. Ben Carson in 2016

  • annpirie

    If you are lucky as I am to know many Hispanic U. S. Citizens, you would realize that they are not happy with the entitlements being handed to those who did not go through the right channels to get them. In fact, they are more irate about it than someone like me who is of European descent many generations ago.

  • Doomed

    I fail to understand why everyone is panning Tancredo when he only lost to Hickenlooper by a slim margin due to a fake Republican and a the party being in mismanaged in disarray. If he had the Rep vote it would have been 50% – 47% almost in the margin of error. Frankly the Republican party is still mismanaged. Tancredo has my vote because he is a regular guy with conviction, not a wishy washy politician like Beauprez and not a crook like Gessler. Kopp just does not have enough experience. Tancredo is a real Coloradan, not an import from the Northeast like Bennett and Hick. Hick is weak on crime, stifling growth due to phony environmentalism, and ripe with scandal the local media does not see fit to investigate….

    • Anonymous

      Has anyone even seen Hick in the last few years? Seems like he hides from every contencious issue. I am sick and tired of legal citizens regardless of who they are taking a back seat to non citizens. Go Tom T!

  • Jennifer C

    Tancredo is just what Colorado needs to give this state a fighting chance. Colorado is California’s gross little sister, with no hope for recovery with Chickenlooper in office.

  • Dick Peabody

    If Hick wasn’t a corrupt little slimeball he’d tell this Democrat 527 group to pull their ads. But, being a corrupt little slimeball, he won’t. Sir, have you no decency?

  • Test

    If by immigration policy you mean, in state tuition for criminals, driver’s license for criminals and free education for criminals followed by amnesty for criminals I guess Tancredo is not the guy. Romney just endorsed Beauprez, that’s got to hurt!

  • sick4america

    I was watching Beck this morning and I see we now have 60,000 children being let into this country form South America with no place to go. ICE is sending them to Arizona to die in the dessert and the Demorats will call for some type of humanitarian relief for them and all illegals. The progressives have stooped so low they will kill thousands to get reelected so they can move this great country to Marxism. It all must be stopped and our man Tancredo is a great start.

  • Fast45

    KDVR is truly a Democratic news outlet … I previously had this comment posted, as the first one on this stream. The “moderators” removed it. Why? Here it is:

    So sad for Colorado … and yet it is so true. Repubs will run the “same old thing” that has failed in the past. No matter how indecisive and pandering Hick has been, Tancredo will once again thwart any chance of a Republican governor. The GOP is in such disarray that viable candidates are precluded from the race. Hick should be an easy mark … but the GOP is so impotent that Hick will win easily.

  • Robert M. Wallen


  • Anonymous

    Who appointed “Protect Colorado Values” to represent what the values are of CO residents? The liberal left wingers will do ANYTHING (including sell their souls, if they have any) to stay in power, and to hell with the extreme damage they are doing to Colorado and the nation. I do not appreciate big fancy expensive glossy junk mailers being sent to me disparaging the Republican candidates and attempting to influence the selection for governor. Hick should condemn their actions if he has any ethics.

  • Del Birk

    I just received a flyer that states: “Tom Tancredo is too conservative for Colorado”. We happen to agree with the things Mr. Tancredo says. We, the people would all be much better off having him represent the people!

  • Jay

    A shadow Dem group that no one has heard of is stumping for the front-runner because he is more beatable or the second place guy who is saying the shadow group is Democrats stumping for the front-runner is hoping to make them both look bad. Which is more likely?

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