DENVER (CBS4) – The shockwave from Eric Cantor’s primary loss on Tuesday should teach Colorado Republicans a valuable lesson: Keep away from the fringe.

GOP voters should think twice, a party strategist argues, before choosing Tom Tancredo as their representative in the 2014 governor’s race against incumbent John Hickenlooper.

“We’ve got three solid Republican candidates. We’ve got one who could destroy this party,” Dick Wadhams told CBS4.

Wadhams is referring to Tancredo, the former U.S. House representative and gubernatorial candidate who is arguably more conservative than many of his intraparty opponents on issues like immigration reform and health care. He would hurt every Republican on the ticket in 2014, Wadhams said.

Tancredo’s conservative credentials, Wadhams says, may succeed in a rural Virginia House district, but in a statewide race in swing state Colorado, it could be devastating.

Colorado’s primary is June 24.

“I think Colorado Republicans better sit back and take a hard look at this election and decide if they want to be relevant to Colorado politics or not,” he said.

Tancredo agrees Cantor’s loss is substantial, but said voters shouldn’t be afraid to take on the establishment.

Cantor surprisingly lost to tea party candidate David Brat on Tuesday, even though he outspent him 40-to-1.

More Campaign 2014 Stories


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