Political ads stir up Republican gubernatorial race in Colorado

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Photo: Elections (iStock)Republicans are decrying ads from a political operation with ties to Democrats that seek to influence the outcome of the Colorado GOP gubernatorial primary.

A newly created group called “Protect Colorado Values” is running the TV ads. The organization hasn’t disclosed any donors yet but its registered agent usually represents Democrat-affiliated groups.

The ads purport to criticize two former congressmen competing for the Republican nomination for governor. But they are very different.

One spot repeatedly says that Tom Tancredo opposed President Obama's health care overhaul. That's a popular stance among Republicans who will vote in the June 24 primary. Democrats are eager to have Tancredo be the Republican nominee because of his hard-line stance on immigration.

The other ad criticizes Bob Beauprez for supporting government spending and some of the elements of the health care plan. Those attacks resonate with Republican voters.

The Colorado Republican party issued a statement criticizing Democrats for meddling in another party's primary.

Colorado GOP chairman Ryan Call says the ads are an unacceptable attempt to influence the Republican primary. Tancredo is endorsed by the Tea Party and it’s believed his anti-immigration views would hurt him in a general election.

Four years ago, liberal groups spent money attacking the GOP front-runner just before the Republican gubernatorial primary. He narrowly lost and a grassroots candidate who took the nomination was soundly defeated in the general election.