Colorado candidates collect signatures to get on the ballot

State Rep. Su Ryden, an Aurora Democrat, and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at the Capitol Friday for Military Appreciation Day. Ryden is collecting signatures to get on the ballot for her state Senate run.
State Rep. Su Ryden, an Aurora Democrat, and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams at the Capitol Friday for Military Appreciation Day. Ryden is collecting signatures to get on the ballot for her state Senate run.

Candidates who are planning to collect voter signatures to try to get on the June 28 primary ballot may start circulating their petitions today, although it’s likely the weather will crimp campaigning.

Collecting voter signatures is one way of getting on the ballot. Another is going through an assembly and receiving at least 30 percent of the delegate vote.

For candidates going the signature route, the petition format first must be approved by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. So far, 21 candidates have received the OK to proceed. Other candidates are waiting to have their petition formats approved.

A number of Republicans have lined up to challenge U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, the Democratic incumbent. So far, five have had their petition formats approved.

Some candidates are collecting signatures and planning to go to their assemblies. That way if the assembly doesn’t work out, they will have the signatures to fall back on.

The petitions are due to the Secretary of State’s office for verification by April 4. Voters can only sign one petition per race. If they sign more than one, the signature  counts for the candidate who first turned in petitions, which is why there is such a hustle in competitive races to get signatures collected.

State Senate candidate Erin Bennett is petitioning onto the ballot. She is with Denver City Councilwoman Debbie Ortega at the Denver's Ted Kennedy dinner in 2015.
State Senate candidate Erin Bennett is petitioning onto the ballot. She is with Denver City Councilwoman Debbie Ortega at the Denver Democrats’ Ted Kennedy dinner in 2015.

Candidates are required to collect a certain number of signatures from voters in their own party, depending on what office they are running for. In some state House races, candidates only have to collect 650 signatures. Statewide candidates must collect 1,500 valid signatures from each of the seven congressional districts, or 10,500 signatures.

Among those who have petitioned onto the ballot and gone on to win in November were Republicans Tom Tancredo and Doug Lamborn in their first congressional runs.

The big news in 2006 was that Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman didn’t collect enough signatures to get on the ballot. Two years earlier, Democrat Mitch Morrissey was forced to petition on the ballot after failing to get 30 percent of the delegate vote at the assembly in his race for Denver district attorney. He went on to win the election.

Candidates who have had their petition formats approved:

U.S. SENATE

Robert Blaha of Colorado Springs; Ryan Frazier of Aurora; Jon Keyser of Morrison; Jack Graham of Fort Collins and Don Rosier of Littleton

CONGRESS

District 5
Moses Humes of Colorado Springs, Democrat

STATE SENATE

District 12
Bob Gardner of Colorado Springs, Republican

District 29
Su Ryden of Aurora, Democrat

District 31
Erin Bennett of Denver, Democrat

STATE HOUSE

District 3
Meg Froelich of Greenwood Village, Democrat

District 6
Michelle Fry of Denver, Democrat
Mark McIntosh of Denver, Democrat

District 16
Larry Liston of Colorado Springs, Republican

District 18, 943 signatures
Athena Roe of Colorado Springs, Democrat

District 42, 650 signatures
Dominique Jackson of  Aurora, Democrat
Eric Nelson of Aurora, Democrat
Naquetta Ricks of Aurora, Democrat

District 63, 1,000 signatures
Colleen Whitlow of Mead, Republican

DENVER DISTRICT ATTORNEY
Kenneth Boyd of Denver, Democrat,

CU REGENT from CD 1
Zachary Rothmier of Denver, Democrat
Lucky Vidmar of Denver, Democrat