AURORA | A Denver district judge made official Wednesday, May 25, what Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ryan Frazier has been waiting nearly a month to hear: His name will appear on next month’s GOP primary ballot and votes cast for him will be counted.
Denver Judge Elizabeth Starrs ruled via teleconference Wednesday afternoon, May 25, that petition signatures submitted by the Frazier campaign — previously rejected by Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams — are, in fact, valid, according to Secretary of State office spokeswoman Lynn Bartels.
Starrs ruled that Frazier had an additional 40 valid petition signatures, pushing him over the required threshold in the state’s 3rd Congressional District. Republican candidates for U.S. Senate were required to gather at least 1,500 valid petition signatures from registered GOP voters in each of the state’s seven congressional districts.
“This Court is satisfied that the additional signatures were from registered Republican voters from the 3rd Congressional District,” Starrs wrote in her ruling. “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.”
Starrs issued her ruling on a conference call with Frazier’s attorneys Scott Gessler and Geoffrey Blue and Assistant Attorney General Matt Grove, who was representing Williams.
Following a decision rendered by the state Supreme Court Tuesday, May 24, Frazier was roughly 25 signatures short of the necessary minimum to make the ballot.
But Starrs’ decision solidifies Frazier’s spot on the ballot and confirms that votes cast for him will count. Frazier will join El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, ex-Colorado State University Athletic Director Jack Graham, former state Rep. Jon Keyser and Colorado Springs Businessman Robert Blaha on the June 28 GOP primary ballot.
“This was not a fight that we chose but a fight that had to be fought,” Frazier said of an appeals process that began April 28 when Williams initially declared the former Aurora city councilman had not submitted enough valid signatures to make the ballot.
Throughout the nearly month-long appeals process that culminated in a decision and a remand from the state Supreme Court, Frazier said that he remained confident he would ultimately be a candidate to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.
“We’ve said from the very beginning we knew that we had more than enough signatures that should have been counted,” he said.
Primary ballots have already been printed by county clerks across the state, according to Bartels.
In his original appeal, Fraizer had also requested compensated attorney fees. That issue will be decided in “a short hearing at a mutual convenient time next week,” according to Starrs’ ruling.