Former GOP congressman Tom Tancredo plans to switch parties and run for Colorado governor on the American Constitution Party ticket, his spokesman said Monday.
Jennifer Raiffie, his communications director, said Tancredo planned to issue a statement later in the day, and that a number of legal details remain to be worked out.
Tancredo will register his new party affiliation with the Colorado secretary of state, and the American Constitution Party will form a vacancy committee to put him on the ballot.
He has said that he believes Republican candidates Scott McInnis and Dan Maes have no chance of beating Democrat John Hickenlooper in November. He gave Maes and McInnis a Monday noon deadline to agree to step down if they are trailing in the polls after the Aug. 10 primary, and both men refused.
"It's high noon, and I'm still here," said Maes.
McInnis said he's waiting for the voters to decide.
"Those looking for a deadline should focus on the only real deadline: August 10 at 7 p.m. This is when the polls close, the people have voted and their votes are counted. That's the way the system works in a free society," McInnis said.
Before announcing his decision, Tancredo got into a testy exchange with Colorado Republican Party chairman Dick Wadhams, accusing Wadhams of disparaging his party's GOP primary candidates in private and discussing ways to get Tancredo on the ballot.
"You called me about the rules. You dislike them both," Tancredo said in an interview with Wadhams on KHOW-AM on Monday.
Wadhams said he noted both candidates had problems, but claimed he didn't disparage them.
"I've been very open that these two guys had problems," Wadhams said.
Tea party groups sent a petition to Tancredo asking him not to interfere, saying it would give the election to Hickenlooper. They said Tancredo doesn't have grassroots support.
Tancredo rejected their petitions and said the situation changed, leaving him no other option for getting on the November ballot.
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