UPDATE: We hear that a friend and advisor of Tancredo is discreetly asking questions about the possibility of Tancredo being approved as Jeffco Schools Superintendent. This would be a clever move for one of Tancredo's gubernatorial opponents — to leak that he is looking at dropping out of the race — but that doesn't seem to be the case thus far. Perhaps only Tancredo can answer this question now.
Republican Tom Tancredo has been the frontrunner for the GOP nomination for Governor from the day he announced his campaign, consistently producing stronger fundraising numbers than his Republican counterparts and demonstrating his lead dog status by skipping Republican debates.
Tancredo's momentum continued last week when he was endorsed by conservative columnist Michelle Malkin a few days before his name was certified for the ballot after submitting the requisite number of petition signatures. In a four-person field for the Republican nomination (along with Bob Beauprez, Scott Gessler, and Mike Kopp), Tancredo would appear to be in the driver's seat as we steam towards the June Primary.
And yet…rumors persisted over the weekend that Tancredo is being pushed by some GOP power-brokers to consider accepting a job as the new Superintendent of Jefferson County Schools (should it be offered to him). Tancredo is by no means an obvious choice to lead the largest school district in Colorado, but it is entirely possible that the unpredictable and unabashedly-partisan Jeffco School Board could decide that the former high school teacher would be a good partner in their efforts to push the school district in the same far-right direction as their counterparts in Douglas County (remember that Tancredo was mentioned as a potential candidate for Douglas County Superintendent a few years back).
The rumor of Tancredo for Jeffco Superintendent is not entirely new, though it took on new life this weekend in the aftermath of the Republican State Assembly. The whole idea makes some sense from the viewpoint of Republicans hoping to thin the field for Governor and cut down on pre-Primary infighting, but the logic starts to crumble when you consider the overall chilling effect it could have in the most important electoral county in Colorado. The new Jeffco School Board has set off alarms across the district with its bizarre and illegal behavior, prompting the formation of a new community organization called "Support Jeffco Kids" that has worked diligently to provide more transparency to a process that the Republican board has taken behind closed doors.
In Jefferson County, K-12 education has always been a top issue — moreso than in most counties around the state — and the forced early resignation of former Superintendent Cindy Stevenson raised plenty of new eyebrows around the county. Appointing someone as partisan as Tancredo to the job of Jeffco Superintendent would significantly intensify the community reaction in Jefferson County and could impact Republican candidates up and down the ticket in November. You can't win a statewide race in Colorado without winning Jefferson County, and the last thing Republicans need in 2014 is to fan the flames of nonpartisan public school advocates — which is exactly what would happen if Tancredo ends up as Superintendent. Can you imagine the oxygen that Tancredo would suck out of the room this fall when a new school year begins?