Colorado’s unaffiliated candidates decry lack of support

By Anthony Bowe

The two unaffiliated candidates who ran for governor are lamenting yet another passed election in which voters avoided the independent track.

Jason Clark, who estimated before the election he’d earn 7 percent of the vote, earned 0.4 percent and Paul Fiorino, who thought he’d get 10,000 votes like he did in 2006, received 0.1 percent, for 3,195 votes.

Jason Clark, who blamed Tancredo for deflating numbers in his own race, parked his campaign truck outside of Tancredo’s party at The Stampede.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman

“We got as many votes as we spent money on. I think that went for everybody in the (governor) race,” said Fiorino, who in 2006 became the first unaffiliated candidate to run for governor.

Clark said he’s disappointed in his loss, but it was to be expected with Tom Tancredo, American Constitution Party candidate, in the race.

“Tancredo had a similar platform — running as an independent candidate — and targeted all the same people as me,” Clark said. “He took all the support, financial volunteers and took all the charisma out of the race — just deflated it. Not to blame Tom Tancredo, but we were going after the same conservative group.”

Fiorino will continue his dance career and Clark said he’d go back to running his business finance company. Clark said he’s eyeing the possibility of running for office in the future. He said he’s specifically targeting the Aurora City Council, if he does chose to run.

Even though some voters told Clark they want an independent alternative candidate, Clark said he’ll most likely take his conservative values back to the Republican party, which is how he was registered in the past.

“The people say they want an independent choice but I think they showed they don’t want independent — 80 percent of people want a two party system,” he said.

Fiorino said he’d continue to be a community advocate, promoting Colorado’s rich frontier history. He said he won’t rule out running again.

“I enter the races and go in with the attitude that I’m in it to win it,” he said. “It may not be this election, but people realize that I’m someone to reckon with.”