DENVER (CBS4)– A surprise twist in Colorado’s race for governor. Walker Stapleton wants his name taken off the primary ballot.
“In good conscience, I cannot be put on ballot in this manner and will not,” he said.
He says the firm denied using a signature gatherer who lived out of state. The firm used a non-resident who was not a Republican and not registered to vote in Colorado to gather signatures, a violation of state law.
“I am unfortunately a victim of this misconduct and there may be other victims too,” he said.
Stapleton delivered a letter to Colorado’s Secretary of State’s office asking that all the signatures gathered be invalidated. He now needs 30 percent of the vote at the State Republican Assembly this Saturday to make the ballot.
Stapleton says he will also file a suit against the firm.
Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado Springs who represents Colorado on Capitol Hill, is fighting to keep his place on the primary ballot. Five voters are challenging how he gathered signatures.
Lamborn chose to petition onto the primary ballot, rather than go through the state assemblies.
He turned in a petition with just under 1,300 signatures but the lawsuit seeks to toss out more than half of those by claiming the collectors of those signatures are not Colorado residents. If that challenge is verified, it would leave Lamborn short of the required amount of signatures to get on the ballot.
“Quite frankly anyone who used this firm for their signatures is probably in a bad situation right now,” said Dick Wadhams, a political analyst.
What the court is trying to determine is what actually qualifies a person to be a Colorado resident.
“It’s going to be a bar room brawl on Saturday and anybody could stumble out of that convention,” Wadhams said.
Some claim the signature collectors have questionable claims to residency because they have driver’s licenses and residential leases in other states. Six are registered to vote with the same address in Thornton.
Those in question testified on Tuesday about their ties to Colorado. They were asked where they are employed, where their vehicles are registered and where their family members live.