Colorado Supreme Court will hear Frazier’s appeal in U.S. Senate primary ballot dispute

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AURORA | The Colorado Supreme Court has agreed to take up former Aurora city councilman Ryan Frazier’s appeal as he seeks to keep his candidacy for U.S. Senate alive after a series of legal challenges.

Ryan Frazier, 2016 senate candidate
Ryan Frazier, 2016 senate candidate

The court ordered Thursday, May 12, that Frazier’s appeal to remain a valid candidate for the Republican primary for U.S. Senate this summer will be heard in the coming weeks. Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ office has until May 18 to file an answer brief, and Frazier’s legal team will have until May 23 to file a reply to any brief from Williams.

Frazier filed his appeal late Monday, May 9, to remain a candidate after a previous appeal to a Denver district court failed to secure his position among the candidates for the June 28 primary election.

Williams’ office previously ruled that Frazier didn’t submit adequate signatures to appear on the statewide GOP ballot, and the Denver court agreed. But the judge in that case ordered Frazier’s name to appear on the ballot anyway, keeping his candidacy alive until the state’s high court ruled on signature deficiency questions. If Frazier looses this appeal, any votes for him will not count, according to a pact he signed onto.

In the filing to the state Supreme Court, Frazier’s legal team seeks review of three items related to whether he submitted enough valid petition signatures from Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District to appear on the GOP primary ballot:

  • Four previously rejected signatures that were not included in the previous judge’s order, and whether they will count;
  • The 45 previously rejected signatures collected by petition circulator James Day, who did not include his apartment number on his voter registration form;
  • And another 51 signatures that were rejected for incomplete information, which the Frazier team contends are in substantial compliance and should be counted.

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 initially deemed Frazier’s signatures insufficient in the 1st (52 signatures short), 2nd (six signatures), 3rd (306 signatures) and 6th congressional districts (44 signatures). Previous rulings regarding Frazier’s petitions cured the insufficiencies declared in CD1 , CD2 and CD6. Another 233 signatures in CD3 were deemed valid, leaving Frazier short 79 valid signatures in CD3 pending this appeal.

In addition to asking the court to accept the aforementioned signatures, Frazier is seeking attorney fees from the state.