University of Colorado Regent and businessman Tom Lucero is banking on the hunch that many Colorado voters still vilify former professor Ward Churchill. Lucero, one of several Republicans vying to face Democrat Betsy Markey in the Fourth Congressional District race, is airing commercials on Fox and his campaign Web site featuring photos of Churchill and a reference to the professor calling some 9/11 victims “Little Eichmanns” in an essay, which spawned a national controversy.

“Took care of that mess in Colorado,” Lucero says in the commercial. “Now, I want to lead the fight to clean up Washington, D.C., which as you know is making even a greater mess of our great country.” In an e-mail to Boulder’s Daily Camera, Churchill responds: “I can think of no one who better reflects the principles and integrity of Colorado Republicans than Tom Lucero. … Who knows? He might even have what it takes to be the next Dick Cheney.”

Churchill sued CU, alleging he was illegally fired. A jury agreed, awarding him $1 in damages. But Chief Denver District Judge Larry Naves later decided against reinstating Churchill to his job back at CU—or any compensation.

The Colorado Independent thinks the Lucero spot is likely to go over well with those “who see Lucero as a dark-horse, non-establishment, true conservative figure in the primary against state Representative Cory Gardner, who has received national party support.” Lucero also was part of the Colorado March for Life on Friday, a rally for a “personhood” amendment that would give rights to fetuses (via press release).