GOVERNOR TANCREDO?…. Late last week in Colorado, former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R) delivered a bizarre ultimatum to the Republican Party’s two gubernatorial candidates: if they’re trailing the Democratic nominee in the polls in mid-August, they should agree to drop out and let him jump in.

And what if the leading GOP gubernatorial candidates — Scott McInnis and Dan Maes — refuse to go along with Tancredo’s scheme? The right-wing former House member said he’d run as a third-party candidate in the fall, seeking the nomination of hyper-conservative American Constitution Party.

As of today, the threat is apparently no longer operative — Tancredo isn’t waiting to see what the Republican candidates will do or what their chances will be in the fall.

Former Congressman Tom Tancredo is in the race for Colorado governor, he said this morning.

“I will officially announce at noon that I will seek the nomination of the constitution party,” Tancredo told The Denver Post.

The Littleton Republican must file some papers with the Colorado Secretary of State and register as a member of the American Constitution Party, but then “he’s ready to go,” raising money, disclosing his platform and launching a website that is already put together.

It’s not entirely clear at this point what prompted Tancredo to jump the gun, but it probably didn’t help that he got into a screaming match this morning on a talk-radio show with state GOP chair Dick Wadhams, with both calling each other “liars.”

It’s already a bizarre race — McInnis is the frontrunner, despite his humiliating plagiarism scandal — but Tancredo will likely make this an even uglier circus. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper (D) has been competitive in recent polls, but his odds will likely improve if Tancredo and the eventual GOP nominee split the right.

For his part, Tancredo, who sort ran for president in 2008, will no doubt love the added attention, though it’s unclear if he will be able to shape a gubernatorial platform. His recent efforts have included a push to impeach President Obama and a desire to convince voters that the president is more dangerous than al Qaeda.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.