(CNN) – Former Rep. Tom Tancredo officially jumps into Colorado's gubernatorial race Thursday. The long time conservative Republican is scheduled to formally announce his bid for governor as the nominee of the American Constitution Party. An event is planned for later Thursday in Lakewood, Colorado.
Tancredo says he is launching a third party candidacy because he doesn't believe that either of the two current GOP gubernatorial candidates can beat Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, the likely Democrat nominee. Tancredo called on Scott McInnis and Dan Moes, who have both been beset by scandals, to withdraw from the general election race after the August 10 primary, if polls suggest that Hickenlooper is far ahead. Both candidates say they are staying in the race.
Tancredo's campaign tells CNN that following the formal announcement, their candidate plans public speaking events and fundraisers. They say they hope to get up on Colorado radio and TV with commercials as soon as possible.
Colorado GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams says Tancredo's entry into the general election battle will benefit the Democrats. Leaders of local Tea Party groups have also urged Tancredo not to run.
Tancredo, who also made a bid for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, is best known for his hard-line stance against illegal immigration. He came under fire earlier this year when he kicked off a Tea Party convention by proclaiming, "people who could not even spell the word 'vote', or say it in English, put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House. His name is Barack Hussein Obama."
Tancredo also stirred the pot earlier this month at a campaign rally for Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck, saying President Obama constitutes more of a threat to the United States than terrorist organizations.