DENVER — Former Rep. Tom Tancredo announced Thursday he will seek the 2014 Republican nomination for Colorado governor, a day after Gov. John Hickenlooper granted a reprieve to a notorious Death Row inmate.
Mr. Tancredo called the Democratic governor's decision to issue an executive order giving a temporary reprieve of execution to Chuck E. Cheese killer Nathan Dunlap "the last straw." Dunlap was scheduled to be executed in August for the 1993 killing.
"I'm going to run for governor of the state of Colorado," Mr. Tancredo told radio talk-show host Peter Boyles on KHOW-AM in Denver. "And I'm going to do it this time as a Republican."
Mr. Tancredo, 67, ran for governor in 2010 as an American Constitution Party candidate after a series of political disasters left the state GOP with a largely unknown candidate weakened by allegations of campaign-finance violations.
A former five-term congressman, candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and an outspoken hawks on immigration issues, Mr. Tancredo garnered 36 percent of the vote as a third-party candidate. Mr. Hickenlooper, a Democrat, won the election with 51 percent of the vote.
Another reason cited for his decision is the Democratic Party's control of the state legislature, which resulted in a flood of liberal legislation this year on issues such as guns, labor unions, the environment and education.
"There has got to be a change here. You can't have one-party rule," said Mr. Tancredo. "It becomes a nightmare."
At a Wednesday press conference, Mr. Hickenlooper, 61, declined to specify how long the reprieve for Dunlap would last. He did say that it was "highly unlikely" he would reconsider the issue during his term, which ends in January 2015.
Dunlap, 38, was convicted of killing four employees in 1993 at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Aurora. He had recently exhausted 17 years' of court appeals. The decision to avoid the death penalty could play into the legal maneuvering over the fate of James Holmes, who has been charged in the Aurora, Col. movie theater shooting last year that killed 12 and wounded scores more.
Other high-profile Colorado Republicans mentioned as potential candidates for the nomination include Secretary of State Scott Gessler and state Sen. Greg Brophy.
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