American Constitution Party (Colorado)

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American Constitution Party
FoundedJuly 23, 2000
HeadquartersFort Lupton, Colorado
Membership (2020)10,806[1]
IdeologyAmerican nationalism
Social conservatism
Christian right
Paleoconservatism
Political positionRight-wing
National affiliationConstitution Party
State Senate
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State House
0 / 65
Website
http://www.americanconstitutionparty.com

The American Constitution Party (ACN) is one of the state of Colorado's political parties. It is affiliated with the national-level Constitution Party, a conservative political party in the United States that says it bases most of its policy positions on the Constitution.[2] The party asserts that the US is a Christian nation founded on the Bible and that American jurisprudence should be restored to what the party claims is its "Biblical foundations".[3] The ACN qualified for major party status in Colorado after receiving more than 36% of the vote in the 2010 gubernatorial election.[4] As the party did not field a candidate in the 2014 election, it reverted to minor party status.[5]

Background[edit]

The American Constitution Party registered as a political party with the state of Colorado on July 23, 2000.[6] In July 2013, the ACN had just over 7,000 registered Colorado voters affiliated with it.[7] Some of the party's positions include:

ACN members ... call for the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the departments of Education and Energy and the Federal Election Commission. They seek the repeal of a number of laws, including one aimed at preventing threats and force against abortion clinics and women seeking abortions and a 1960s-era law meant to end discriminatory election practices.[8]

For most of its existence, the ACN has existed as one of Colorado's "minor parties", and has never elected one of its candidates to office.

Party platform[edit]

The American Constitution Party of Colorado seeks to:[8]

The ACN is affiliated with the national-level Constitution Party, which has developed a party platform as well.[9]

2010 gubernatorial election; qualifying as 'major party'[edit]

Former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo ran as the party's candidate for Colorado governor in 2010 after the campaign of Republican Party nominee Dan Maes collapsed politically. He won around 36% of the vote, receiving more than 2.5 times the vote of Republican Party nominee Maes.[10] Democratic candidate John Hickenlooper won the election with just over 51% of the vote.

County results for the 2010 gubernatorial election
Hickenlooper:      30–40%      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%
Tancredo:      30–40%      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%
Maes:      30–40%
Colorado gubernatorial election (2010)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic John Hickenlooper 912,005 51.01% -5.97%
Constitution Tom Tancredo 651,232 36.43% +35.80%
Republican Dan Maes 199,034 11.13% -29.03%
Libertarian Jaimes Brown 13,314 0.74% -0.75%
Independent Jason R. Clark 8,576 0.48%
Independent Paul Fiorino 3,483 0.19%
Write-ins 86 0.00%
Majority 260,773 14.59% -2.24%
Turnout 1,787,730
Democratic hold Swing

Context and aftermath[edit]

Under state law, the American Constitution Party's vote share in the 2010 gubernatorial election elevated the party from "minor" to "major" party status. Any party that earns 10% or more of the votes cast for governor is a defined under statute as a "major party". Major party status gives the party a place at or near the top of the ballot in the 2014 gubernatorial election.

However, because of the additional organizational, financial, and compliance requirements triggered by major party status, ACN leaders were ambivalent about the change.[12][13]

After the election, Tancredo quickly rejoined the Republican Party, disappointing an ACN leadership struggling to contend with major party status and how to successfully leverage the increased attention the party had received because of his candidacy.[14]

The party effectively relinquished its 'major party' status by the 2014 gubernatorial election, by virtue of not running or fielding a candidate.[5]

Recent electoral history[edit]

Although the American Constitution Party's political and organizational sophistication did not grow despite the attention brought to it by Tancredo's 2010 gubernatorial candidacy, the party fielded more candidates in the 2010 and 2012 cycles than it had in the entirety of the previous decade.[15]

In the 2022 elections, the party fielded candidates in races for US House, in Districts 2, 4 and 5, as well as in statewide elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, and in District 8 for the Board of Education. All were unsuccessful, recording less than 1% of the vote in most of these races.[16][17]

Candidates fielded 2002-2014
Election Year Office Name
2014 Adams County Sheriff James Fariello
2014 Mesa County Assessor Steve Henderson
2013 Steamboat Springs School Board Joseph Andrew
2012 Adams County Commissioner James Fariello
2012 Colorado House, District 14 Ryan Dyer
2012 Colorado House, District 14 Thomas O'dell
2012 Colorado House, District 15 Michael Edstrom
2012 Colorado House, District 16 David Rawe
2012 Colorado House, District 17 Barry Pace
2012 Colorado House, District 18 Amy Fedde
2012 Colorado House, District 19 Timothy Biolchini
2012 Colorado House, District 20 Donna Burdick
2012 Colorado House, District 21 Sean Halstead
2012 Colorado House, District 61 Robert Petrowsky
2012 Colorado Senate, District 10 Christopher Mull
2012 Colorado Senate, District 12 James Bristol
2012 CU Regent, At-Large Tyler Belmont
2012 CU Regent, At-Large Brian Scott
2012 CU Regent, District 5 Gina Biolchini
2012 El Paso County Commissioner Kathy Payne
2010 Adams County Sheriff James Fariello
2010 Colorado Senate, District 31 Clifton Powell
2010 Governor Benjamin Goss
2010 Governor Tom Tancredo
2010 Lt. Governor Patricia Miller
2010 Motezuma County Sheriff Gerald Wallace
2010 Secretary of State Amanda Campbell
2008 Colorado House, District 27 Amanda Campbell
2008 Colorado House, District 37 Brian Olds
2008 Park County Commissioner Zdenko Novkovic
2006 Colorado House, District 53 Darren Morrison
2006 Colorado Senate, District 16 Tim Leonard
2006 CU Regent, At-Large Douglas "Dayhorse" Campbell
2006 Governor Clyde Harkins
2006 La Plata County Commissioner Padraig Lynch
2006 Lt. Governor Tracy Davison
2002 Attorney General Gaar Potter
2002 Colorado House Paul Berthelot
2002 Colorado House, District 57 Dr. Zane Newitt
2002 Lt. Governor Desiree Hickson

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Winger, Richard. "November 2020 Ballot Access News Print Edition". Ballot Access News. Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  2. ^ Carrie Budoff; Thomas Fitzgerald (8 August 2004). "Candidate counts on anger at Specter Democrats are hoping that James Clymer, of the Constitution Party, will draw off enough conservative support to boost Hoeffel's chances". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  3. ^ Preamble to Constitution Party Platform Archived 2014-02-21 at the Wayback Machine "The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States. We hereby appeal to Him for mercy, aid, comfort, guidance and the protection of His Providence as we work to restore and preserve these United States. This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on a foundation of Christian principles and values. For this very reason peoples of all faiths have been and are afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here. The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries."
  4. ^ "Constitution Party News Articles". Archived from the original on 2010-11-21. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  5. ^ a b "Political Party Directory". www.sos.state.co.us. Archived from the original on 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  6. ^ "TRACER - Committee Detail". tracer.sos.colorado.gov. Archived from the original on 2014-03-17. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  7. ^ "Colorado Secretary of State: Voter Registration Statistics". Archived from the original on 2013-11-12. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
  8. ^ a b Jessica Fender, "Tancredo's new party way out in right field" Archived 2013-06-05 at the Wayback Machine, The Denver Post, July 27, 2010.
  9. ^ Constitution Party 2012 National Platform Archived February 9, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "2010 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Colorado". Archived from the original on 2011-10-12. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  11. ^ "State Cumulative Report". www.sos.state.co.us. Archived from the original on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  12. ^ Steven K. Paulson, "ACN Not Relishing Role As Colorado Major Party" Archived 2014-03-17 at the Wayback Machine, Associated Press, May 8, 2011.]
  13. ^ Patricia Calhoun, "American Constitution Party faces major headaches as a major Colorado party" Archived 2013-08-01 at the Wayback Machine, Westword Magazine blogs; March 6, 2012.
  14. ^ Peter Marcus, "American Constitution Party feels majorly scorned by Tancredo" Archived 2015-12-13 at the Wayback Machine, The Colorado Statesman; October 12, 2012
  15. ^ "Colorado Secretary of State". Archived from the original on 2013-08-27. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
  16. ^ "United States House of Representatives elections in Colorado, 2022". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 20 November 2022.
  17. ^ "Colorado state executive official elections, 2022". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 20 November 2022.

External links[edit]