By Mark Ackerman
DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver judge ruled Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn will stay on the 2018 ballot despite disqualifying 58 petition signatures collected on Lamborn’s behalf.
In an effort to get Lamborn removed from the ballot, five voters sued the Secretary of State claiming that Lamborn used paid petition circulators that weren’t Colorado residents.
The Congressman from Colorado Springs hired the firm Kennedy Enterprises to collect the 1,000 signatures required to put him on the ballot for the 2018 5th Congressional District primary.
Tuesday, the residency of five ballot circulators hired by Kennedy Enterprises were called into question in Denver District Court. The judge ruled the majority of the circulators had sufficient ties to Colorado – so the signatures they collected remained.
However, a petition collector named Jeffrey Carter testified that he traveled the country gathering signatures for different elections – so the 58 signatures he collected for Lamborn were disallowed.
According to campaign spokesperson Ryan Call, Lamborn turned in 1,269 signatures. Even with the 58 that were disallowed, the campaign still collected 211 more signatures than he needed.
“The Lamborn campaign did not do anything wrong,” Call said. “While there was question about the ties of one of the circulator back to Michigan, the court found there were plenty of ties to all the other circulators back to Colorado.”
The court ruling comes on the same day that gubernatorial candidate and State Treasurer, Walker Stapleton, asked the Secretary of State to be removed from the ballot amidst controversy over signatures collected on his behalf by Kennedy Enterprises.
Stapleton hopes to get on the ballot through the State Assembly this weekend.
The plaintiffs have three days to appeal the decision, which could end up in the Colorado Supreme Court.
Lamborn’s campaign offered this statement Tuesday evening:
“We are pleased that the judge has agreed with the Secretary of State and ruled that Representative Doug Lamborn gathered the required signatures to be on the ballot.
We are very disappointed that our opponents resorted to a cheap political stunt in an attempt to disenfranchise voters.
Rep. Lamborn looks forward to continuing this spirited campaign and sharing his record of conservative leadership and working with President Trump to cut taxes, secure the border and fully fund our military.”
Mark Ackerman is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. Follow him on Twitter @ackermanmark