DENVER | A pair of Republican candidates seeking to oust incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet will appear in Denver District Court Tuesday morning to argue that the Colorado Secretary of State wrongfully took them off the GOP primary ballot because of petition signature deficiencies.
GOP candidates Robert Blaha and Ryan Frazier are slated to appear in court at 9 a.m., claiming that Secretary of State Wayne Williams unfairly rejected signatures gathered toward earning a spot on the upcoming GOP primary ballot.
Citing a combination of issues with petitioners’ voter registration, notary stamps and illegible handwriting, the two campaigns claim that they submitted ample valid signatures, according to court filings provided by Secretary of State office spokeswoman Lynn Bartels.
Senate candidates seeking to make the primary ballot were required to obtain 1,500 signatures from registered Republican voters in each of the state’s seven congressional districts.
The Secretary of State’s office announced April 28 that both Blaha and Frazier’s petition signatures were deemed insufficient to earn sport on the June 28 Republican primary ballot. According to the Secretary of State’s office, Blaha failed to hit the the necessary signature threshold in the 1st, 3rd and 6th congressional districts. Frazier came up short in CD1, CD2, CD3 and CD6.
The Blaha camp contends that after addressing various missteps, the Secretary of State will find an additional 176 valid signatures in CD1, 207 signatures in CD3 and an extra 126 signatures in CD6.
In court, Blaha is represented by Michael Francisco of MRD Law.
The Frazier campaign argues that the Secretary of State must accept an additional 58 signatures in CD1, nine signatures in CD2, 177 signatures in CD6 and 519 signatures in CD3.
Frazier is represented by Geoff Blue and former Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler.
The petitions filed by the Blaha and Frazier campaigns come just days after Denver District Court Judge Elizabeth Starrs sided in favor of a petition submitted earlier this week by another candidate for U.S. Senate, former state Rep. Jon Keyser. Keyser argued that Colorado’s top elections official erroneously rejected voter signatures he needed to make the primary. Starrs agreed.
Blaha and Frazier are vying to join Keyser, former CSU Athletic Director Jack Graham and El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn on the June 28 Republican primary ballot.