Former Congressman Tom Tancredo makes third bid for Colorado governor

We have to anticipate what the establishment will do. It could get ugly," Tancredo told Colorado Politics. He also said he's been asking voters if they think he could defeat Polis if it came to that. "So far, it looks like I have a chance," he said

Tom Tancredo

FILE - In this July 19, 2013 file photo, former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo wears an NRA hat during a gun rights rally, held near a remembrance event held a day before the one year anniversary of the Aurora shootings, at Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora, Colo. The Colorado Republican Party chairman on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 accused Tancredo and state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman of trying to force him from his position and warning he may face a lawsuit and false allegations of infidelity if he refused to leave. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, file)

Tom Tancredo, Scott Gessler, Mike Kopp, Bob Beauprez

FILE - In their quest to unseat Gov. John Hickenlooper, Republicans are expected to face an uphill battle no matter who they pick as their party candidate in the primaries, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. The four candidates in the race are Tom Tancredo, Scott Gessler, Mike Kopp and Bob Beauprez. (AP Photos/Files)

Tom Tancredo won~t de_Petr

Former Congressman Tom Tancredo said Friday he won't debate his fellow Republican challengers running for governor because he wants to "reduce the number of self-inflicted wounds."

Tom Tancredo

FILE -- Former Congressman Tom Tancredo pictured in this Oct. 15, 2010, file photo announced on a radio talk show in Denver on Thursday, May 23, 2013 that he is running for governor of Colorado in 2014 on the Republican ticket. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

Tom Tancredo, Joe Megyesy

In this Oct. 2, 2012 photo, former Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo speaks out in favor supporting Amendment 64 to legalize marijuana in Colorado during a news conference at the Capitol in Denver. Joe Megyesy coordinator for the campaign to regulate marijuana like alcohol listens at left. Appealing to Western individualism and a mistrust of federal government, activists have lined up some prominent conservatives as natural allies to make pot legal, from one-time presidential hopefuls Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul to Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Tom, Jackie Tancredo

FILE - In this June 24, 2014 file photo, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo, left, hugs his wife, Jackie, as results showed the former U.S. congressman had lost his bid for his party's nomination at a gathering in the west Denver suburb of Lakewood, Colo. Tancredo is entering the governor's race for the third time, joining a field of eight other Republicans and seven Democrats hoping to succeed Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

DENVER  Former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo is entering Colorado’s Republican gubernatorial race, bringing a familiar hard line on immigration and drawing an early barb Tuesday from Democratic candidate U.S. Rep. Jared Polis.

Colorado Politics reported Tuesday that Tancredo will officially launch his third bid for governor on Wednesday. Tancredo represented southern Aurora in Congress.

A five-term former congressman from Denver’s southern suburbs, Tancredo made his mark as an advocate for strict immigration laws and enforcement and is a contributor to conservative Breitbart News, run by Steve Bannon, the former adviser to President Donald Trump. He said he’d welcome Bannon’s support if he needs it.

Tancredo ran for governor in 2010 and 2014 — the first time as a candidate of the American Constitution Party. He sparred with GOP leaders both times and blamed his 2014 primary loss to former Rep. Bob Beauprez on a spending campaign by the Republican Governors Association. He quit the party again in 2015 but rejoined this year.

Tancredo brings a long-held hard line on immigration issues, and he listed roads and gun rights as among his other priorities. He condemned Republican leaders for staying silent when a Colorado Springs resort said it would not host a 2018 conference organized by VDARE, a national anti-immigration group some have said is a forum for white nationalists.

“We have to anticipate what the establishment will do. It could get ugly,” Tancredo told Colorado Politics. He also said he’s been asking voters if they think he could defeat Polis if it came to that. “So far, it looks like I have a chance,” he said.

Nine Republicans and seven Democrats want to succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Polis issued a statement Tuesday saying Tancredo “has spent his career championing hate groups, vilifying immigrants, and seeking divisiveness.”

“We cannot allow Steve Bannon’s toxic brand of hate and white nationalism to take root in Colorado,” Polis said.

The crowded GOP primary features State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, George Brauchler, who prosecuted Aurora theater shooter James Holmes, and businessman Vic Mitchell, among others. Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy, former state Sen. Mike Johnson and businessman Noel Ginsburg are running on the Democratic side.

Tancredo served in Congress from 1999-2009. He was regional director of the U.S. Department of Education under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and is a former state representative.