Oct 21, 2010 6:57 PM by Greg Boyce, Zach Thaxton

Congressman Lamborn bails on Maes

5th District Congressman Doug Lamborn has thrown his support behind third party candidate Tom Tancredo in the Colorado Governor's race.  It's an unprecedented development in what has become a bizarre election.

Lamborn is a Republican who represents the Republican stronghold of Colorado Springs.  Tancredo is a former Republican congressman who switched to the American Constitution Party and got into the governor's race because he thought the Republican nominee, Evergreen businessman Dan Maes couldn't win.

Lamborn made the announcement at Pioneers Museum Thursday afternoon.  Lamborn said Tancredo is the only candidate who has a chance to defeat Democrat John Hickenlooper on November 2.  "I believe that philosophically, Tom Tancredo would govern as a Republican, and I've asked him about that," said Lamborn. "He would govern as a Republican."

"I didn't go through some sort of philosophical metamorphosis in order to become an American Constitution Party candidate," Tancredo said, insisting his values are the same as they were when he was a Republican.  "It lets people know it is indeed okay to vote for somebody who doesn't have an 'R' beside their name -- but just this one time."

Calls by News First 5 directly to Dan Maes and his campaign spokesman Thursday afternoon were not returned. Maes garnered 12 percent of voter support in the latest polling by Rasmussen Reports. Tancredo polled at 38 percent and Democratic candidate John Hickenlooper, mayor of Denver, received 42 percent of the likely votes.  The margin of error for the poll was +/- 4 percent, making the race a statistical dead heat between Tancredo and Hickenlooper.

Democrats say while the endorsement-swapping may help Tancredo in the polls, it further fractures the Republican party and ultimately works in Hickenlooper's favor.  "I've never seen anything like it, especially all the calls from within the Republican party to their nominee for him to withdraw from the race," said Christy Le Lait, chairperson for El Paso County Democrats. "That Doug Lamborn would abandon his own party and his party's wishes is surprising."


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