Tom Tancredo has picked former Republican lawmaker Pat Miller to be his running mate in Colorado’s gubernatorial race, citing her legislative experience and her active anti-abortion campaigns.
Tancredo announced his choice on KHOW-AM radio Tuesday, the deadline for minor parties to report the results of vacancy committee changes to the Secretary of State.
Tancredo left the Republican Party in July to run for governor as a member of the American Constitution Party. He told party officials he wanted to choose his own running mate, and Doug Campbell, the running mate chosen by the party’s original candidate, agreed to step down.
Miller, 63, ran twice for Congress as a Republican and lost both times to U.S. Rep. David Skaggs, a Boulder Democrat who held office from 1987 to 1999. She served one term in the Colorado House of Representatives from 1990 to 1992 but lost her bid for re-election.
Miller said she knows what it takes to win races, and she also knows what it’s like to lose.
In 1994, she ran against Skaggs and received 43 percent of the vote. In 1996, she ran against him again and was chosen by 35 percent of voters after audiotapes surfaced of Miller bragging at a 1994 campaign rally that patriot groups could count on her support if she was elected to Congress.
Miller told the group that there “are a lot of things near and dear to my heart that I don’t talk about a lot in the press because I’m getting called all kinds of names. I don’t want to give them any more.”
Miller called it “gutter politics” and guilt by association.
Miller said Tuesday she came to Colorado as a Democrat but realized when she read the platforms that she was really a Republican. She said she later realized her strength was in the grass roots conservative movement and decided she had to get out of the Republican Party. She reregistered with the American Constitution Party to run with Tancredo.
“That’s not hard for me to do,” she said.
During her congressional campaign, Miller said she supported a ban on partial-birth abortions. She said she would not support a federal limit on weapons access for people convicted of domestic abuse, and she said all decisions on gun control should be left to the states.
Miller, a former beauty shop owner, was born in Peoria, Ill., graduated from high school and later trained as a cosmetologist.
Campbell, who was picked by Ben Goss to be his running mate and remained on the ticket until Sunday, when a vacancy committee voted to replace him, said he stepped down voluntarily because he believes Tancredo should pick his own running mate. He said he plans to help Tancredo campaign.
“We don’t want to be hard-nosed about that,” Campbell said.
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