Yesterday in a crowded Colorado Republican primary, establishment candidate Bob Beauprez beat anti-immigrant extremist Tom Tancredo, and in so doing became the GOP candidate for governor. Tancredo, a former Colorado representative to the US Congress, had been doing well in the polls, and beat his rivals in fundraising. But when the critical day arrived, and with hundreds of thousands dollars from his own pocket, Beauprez pulled through. Tancredo conceded just before 8pm last night.
Tancredo is an outspoken politician and former U.S. Representative who built a career on bigotry. He founded the House Immigration Reform Caucus (IRC) in 1999 to push forward anti-immigrant policies. His history of racist remarks likely undermined attempts to court moderate and Hispanic voters – an attempt that included campaign slogan “Viva Tancredo: Live Your Own Life.”
While Tancredo’s defeat is a good sign, Beauprez’s victory is no cause for celebration. The pro-business candidate was far less outspoken than Tancredo about his nativism, but was a member of the IRC, the stridently anti-immigrant coalition founded by Tancredo. A quick glance at his voting record reveals that, while in Congress, Beauprez aligned with anti-immigrant groups like NumbersUSA 4 times out of 5. Certainly not as extreme as Tancredo – but not far enough away either. He was also rated 100% by the Islamophobic organization ACT! for America two years in a row.