Maes, DanJust as it seemed former Congressman Scott McInnis would glide to the Republican nomination for governor, the libertarian-minded Tea Party steps in.

McInnis—who averted the possibility of a Tom Tancredo campaign as Colorado’s GOP issued a supposedly unified conservative platform for the 2010 race—just isn’t conservative enough for some in his own party, as well as for some who’d never join, referring to themselves as the Tea Party.

Members of the unaffiliated but conservative-to-the-core Tea Party gathered for a rally at the state Capitol over the weekend to flex their political muscle.

McInnis’ Republican competitor in the race, Dan Maes (left), told the gathering, “Someone tried to tell you there is only one Republican candidate for governor” (via The Denver Post). That “someone,” according to the Evergreen businessman, includes the insiders and elite of the GOP.

Tea Partiers—like Jackie Rhodes of Loveland, a Maes supporter—say the Republican Party can be taken over or claim they are the grassroots.

“I think they are going to be surprised,” she says of McInnis’ campaign, predicting conservative Republicans like her, who have never attended caucuses, will flock to them this year.

Tea Party activists have focused their ire on the McInnis campaign for a while. Last week, Westword pointed out McInnis allegedly “was late” to the Tea Party. And Fox 31 quoted McInnis as promising, “I’ll work for every vote.”