AURORA | U.S. Senate Candidate Ryan Frazier inched closer toward solidifying his candidacy for the U.S. Senate primary Tuesday, May 24, after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Secretary of State Wayne Williams must accept an additional 49 petition signatures that were previously deemed invalid.
The ruling still leaves Frazier’s campaign about 20 signatures short of hitting the necessary threshold in the state’s 3rd Congressional District.
Frazier still has a chance to legitimately appear on the June 28 Republican primary ballot, however, as the state Supreme Court remanded the decision on the legality of another 51 signatures submitted by the former Aurora City Councilman’s campaign back to the Denver district court for reconsideration.
The district court has been ordered to issue a ruling on the final signatures by 5 p.m. Friday, May 27.
“The district court is to determine whether, based on the evidence in the record and any additional evidence that the parties may present … that a sufficient number of these signatures substantially comply with the statutory requirements—namely, that they were made by registered Republicans residing in the 3rd Congressional District at the time they signed,” the state Supreme Court’s ruling read.
Frazier was one of four Republican candidates who attempted to make the primary ballot by petition. Each of the other candidates — ex-Colorado State athletic director Jack Graham, Colorado Springs Businessman Robert Blaha and former state Rep. Jon Keyser — successfully petitioned on the ballot, despite several hiccups that resulted in various appeals.
If the district court does not order Williams to accept enough of Frazier’s petition signatures signatures to meet the 1,500-signature threshold in CD3, any votes cast in the primary for Frazier will not be counted, according to a pact the candidate agreed to earlier this month.
Secretary of State Spokeswoman Lynn Bartels said that because primary ballots have already been printed, county clerks will be instructed to ignore any votes cast for Frazier in the event that the district court rules against him.
“Counties have already printed their ballots, so no matter what happens this will be a case where clerks are ordered not to count his votes or Frazier will be on the ballot and his votes will be counted,” Bartels wrote in an email.
Republican candidates for U.S. Senate were required to gather at least 1,500 valid petition signatures from registered GOP voters in each of the state’s seven congressional districts.
El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn was the sole candidate to make the primary ballot through the state convention process after he garnered more than 70 percent of the delegate votes at the Colorado Republican Assembly in April.
Each of the prospective senators is vying to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in the general election this November.