DENVER – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ryan Frazier will have his votes counted after all.
The Denver District Court took another look at signatures collected to make the June 28 primary ballot, after the Colorado Supreme Court weighed in and asked the lower court to review petitions.
“Upon further review of the signatures by the Secretary of State, as ordered by this Court, Mr. Frazier has 40 additional valid signatures,” Judge Elizabeth A. Starrs wrote. “This Court is satisfied that the additional signatures were from registered Republican voters from the 3rd Congressional District. Mr. Frazier has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that he has a sufficient number of signatures which substantially comply with the statutory requirements.”
The 3rd Congressional District includes La Plata County.
“These were valid Republican registered voters who were tossed for minor clerical errors,” Frazier said of the questioned signatures that were ultimately deemed valid. “We know that these are all real people.”
Frazier is a former Aurora city councilor.
The court’s Wednesday decision marks the latest twist in a seemingly endless saga surrounding the Colorado U.S. Senate primary, which has included allegations of fraudulent signatures collected by a petition gatherer working for a firm hired by a political and public affairs company working for the Jon Keyser campaign.
The court challenges began about a month ago when Secretary of State Wayne Williams determined that three candidates – Frazier, Keyser and Robert Blaha – had not gathered enough valid signatures to make the ballot.
Candidates were required to collect at least 1,500 signatures from each of the state’s seven congressional districts.
All three candidates won their cases in court, and they will appear on the ballot.
Former Colorado State University athletic director Jack Graham qualified for the ballot in April by collecting enough signatures, and his campaign’s effort was not challenged.
El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn made the ballot at the April 9 state convention, shocking observers by knocking out several other candidates in a crowded Republican field.
Glenn’s name will appear at the top of the ballot – since he won at the convention – followed by Frazier, Blaha, Graham and Keyser.
The candidates are vying to challenge Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet, who has more than $7.6 million in the bank.