Maes decries ‘evil’ around his gubernatorial bid |

Maes decries ‘evil’ around his gubernatorial bid

DURANGO, Colorado – Colorado’s embattled Republican gubernatorial candidate is firing back at critics who say he’s unfit for office.

A defiant Dan Maes told a group of conservatives gathered in Durango on Thursday that the political process is surrounded by evil.

“I love that you opened with prayer because this is not just political war, folks, this is a spiritual battle,” Maes said in remarks reported by the Durango Herald.

“There is evil out there. When I interact with some of these people, I can feel the evil. They’re not evil people, but evil finds its way into the system. And we must stand and fight this to the end.”

Maes called Colorado’s campaign finance rules “ridiculous.” Earlier this year, the Republican nominee paid a $17,500 fine for campaign finance violations, including $44,000 he claimed in undocumented mileage expenses.

In addition to the campaign finance violation, Maes raised eyebrows by questioning a Denver bike-sharing program and by claiming to have once worked as an undercover police officer in Kansas.

Maes says he has an e-mail that will corroborate his claim to have worked undercover but conceded he’s made mistakes campaigning.

Later, Maes said, “You discovered that I’m a human being. And perhaps you thought I was more than maybe I really was. But by golly, I’ve made a few mistakes, and I’m going to own up to them.”

Maes is in western Colorado campaigning in advance of a debate Saturday with his democratic opponent, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

A former Republican who joined the race as a third-party candidate after Maes was nominated, former Rep. Tom Tancredo, will not be allowed to join the gubernatorial debate under the rules of the group putting on the event.

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