Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) has represented Colorado’s 5th district for six years, but it looks like that may come to an end. The Colorado Supreme Court kicked him off the GOP primary ballot after the justices “ruled that a petition gatherer working for Lamborn’s campaign did not live in the state at the time.”

That made the signatures invalid and placed Lamborn “below the threshold for ballot access.”

Lamborn needed signatures from 1,000 registered Republicans in the 5th District. He turned in 1,783 signatures, but only 1,269 received a stamp of approval. From The Denver Post:

Shortly thereafter, a lawsuit was filed by five Republicans from the congressman’s district challenging whether two of the signature gatherers hired by his campaign were Colorado residents as required by state law.

The Denver District Court ruled that one of the gatherers was not a resident, and invalidated 58 signatures he collected. It found that the other — who had gathered more 269 signatures — was.

The Colorado Supreme Court rejected this ruling:

But the Colorado Supreme Court, which reviewed the case upon appeal, rejected the lower court’s ruling on the residency of the second gatherer, Ryan Tipple, which was based off the legal theory that he intended to move to the state.

“Tipple’s stated intent to live in Colorado in the future is relevant only if he has a fixed habitation in Colorado to which he presently intends to return,” the Supreme Court’s ruling said. “The record reveals none. … All of the objective record evidence regarding his residency at the time he circulated the petition for the Lamborn Campaign indicated that his primary place of abode was in California.”

The ruling left Lamborn 58 signatures short of 1,000.

The court added: “We recognize the gravity of this conclusion, but Colorado law does not permit us to conclude otherwise.”

Now there’s still a chance Lamborn could return to the ballot. Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert said the congressman could ask a federal court “to strike the residency requirement.” His lawyer, Ryan Call, told Politico that’s the plan:

“We believe, quite frankly, denying a sitting congressman the right to participate in a primary election where the residency of the circulator denies the otherwise valid petition signatures is unconstitutional,” Call said. “We intend to file an action in federal district court, and there are a number of cases that find that the residency requirement for circulators as unconstitutional.”

Colorado Treasurer Walker Stephen, a candidate for governor, gathered signatures with the same company Lamborn used, but he was able to find a spot on the ballot via party convention vote.

I don’t think this will flip his district. Cook Political Report hasn’t changed anything and listed the district as Likely Republican. Reports I have looked at have described his district as conservative. If Lamborn cannot get on the ballot, Stephen will face off against Colorado State Senator Owen Hill and El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) endorsed Hill.

Hill has represented District 10 in the state senate since 2013. He first ran in 2010, but lost by a slim margin to then-incumbent John Morse (D).

His campaign issues include protecting life and school choice. He also wants to reform Medicaid and supports Right to Work. He also placed gun rights on his website. He strongly supports the 2nd Amendment, saying that “[P]rotecting our Liberty is the fundamental idea behind” this amendment “and the greater the government grows, the more necessary the 2nd Amendment becomes.”

Glenn became county commissioner in 2014. He ran ran for the state senate in 2016, but incumbent Michael Bennet (D) barely defeated him.

Glenn has been campaigning to reduce regulations to allow growth in the economy for employers and employees. He also wants a balanced budget amendment to force the “government to live within its means.” He advocates fora secure border.

He says on his website that he “will endeavor to repeal Obamacare and other policies that divide Americans and separate them from their elected officials.”

If a court allows Lamborn back on the ballot, it may not be an easy ride. Politico described his past elections and primaries:

Lamborn has faced a number of close calls for renomination in the past. He was nearly knocked out of Congress in 2016 when Calandra Vargas, a first-time candidate, delivered a show-stopping speech at the state Republican convention and drew 58 percent of the vote there. Lamborn, who received 35 percent of the vote, was just 18 votes over the convention threshold for ballot access.

The six-term congressman has also faced stiff primary challenges.

In 2006, Lamborn, then a state legislator, won the nomination over Republican Jeff Crank, who was endorsed by retiring Rep. Joel Hefley. Crank sought a rematch in 2008, but Lamborn hung on to win renomination with a plurality of the primary vote: 44 percent. In 2014, Republican Bentley Rayburn, a retired Air Force general, nearly toppled Lamborn again, challenging him over potential military base closings.

Like I said, it looks like even if Lamborn cannot run, the seat will stay in the GOP. Ballotpedia has Stephany Rose Spaulding as the only candidate in the Democrat primary. Money reports on Ballotpedia show that she doesn’t even have $100,000.


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