Tancredo, TomWhen state Senator Josh Penry dropped his bid for the Republican gubernatorial primary earlier this week, it seemed his former boss, Scott McInnis, was closer to a clear shot at taking on Bill Ritter without a costly and politically taxing primary.

Enter McInnis’ former congressional colleague Tom Tancredo, the 2008 presidential candidate who ran on the single issue of battling illegal immigration and who recently walked off the set of an MSNBC talk show when a prominent liberal blogger offended him. Tancredo says he’s going to run for governor.

“I fully intend to run,” he tells Westword. But, Tancredo has yet to file formal paperwork. “There are a whole bunch of things we have to put together to get to the point of filing. We’re not there yet, but we are looking,” he tells Fox31.

McInnis calls Tancredo’s announcement an “awkward situation:” He considers Tancredo a friend, writes 7News. McInnis also praises Penry for exiting the race to avoid a primary: “Obviously he took a bullet for the party. He led by example and that’s Josh Penry.”

Tancredo’s view is different: “I’m not part of the Republican establishment. My allegiance is more to a philosophy than to the GOP.”