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Home State Boosts Tancredo’s Candidacy

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Karen E. Crummy, Denver Post, April 17, 2007

Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo, a staunch opponent of illegal immigration, received a big financial boost for his presidential campaign from his home state, but also took in tens of thousands of dollars from Texas and California, according to federal election records.

Tancredo, who officially announced he was running for president two weeks ago, raised nearly $1.2 million from Jan. 1 through March 31. He has $575,078 remaining.

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Seventy-five percent of Tancredo’s contributions were under $200, indicating a strong grassroots effort. The campaign is not legally required to itemize those donors but said the average contribution was $61.

An analysis shows California leading the way with $60,115 in disclosed contributions to Tancredo. Much of the money came from the southern part of the state. California was followed closely by Colorado with $56,975 and Texas with $26,470.

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No big-name or controversial donors immediately appeared in his disclosures, but Tancredo acknowledged that his illegal-immigration stance attracts extremists at times.

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Tancredos fundraising pales in comparison with the top-tier candidates, many of whom have amassed more than $20 million. But he did outraise seven other contenders from both parties, including fellow Republican Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor. Tancredo is also financially running neck and neck with Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas.

Tancredo said he plans to campaign primarily in Iowa and New Hampshire and is aiming to place third or fourth in the Jan. 14 Iowa Caucuses.

Thats a distinct possibility, said David Redlawsk, a political-science professor at the University of Iowa who has done recent polling showing that GOP caucus-goers believe immigration is an important issue.

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And while Tancredo doesnt have much money, he may not need it, said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

“He can get free media by being on radio and TV shows and remaining controversial,” he said. “He may split off some anti-illegal-immigration Republicans who wont vote Democratic, but they may just not vote.”

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Original article

Email Karen E. Crummy at kcrummy@denverpost.com.

(Posted on April 18, 2007)

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