DENVER | The Republican primary race for U.S. Senate shed two more candidates Thursday, April 28, after the Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced that both Robert Blaha, a Colorado Springs businessman, and former Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier failed to submit a sufficient number of petition signatures to make the primary ballot.
Both candidates submitted more than the required total of 10,500 valid signatures, but failed to make June 28 ballot due to not having met the 1,500 valid signature requirement in some congressional districts, according to a press release issued by the Secretary of State’s office.
Senate candidates seeking to make the Republican primary ballot were required to obtain 1,500 signatures from registered Republican voters in each of the state’s seven congressional districts. Blaha failed to hit the the necessary signature threshold in the 1st, 3rd and 6th congressional districts. Frazier came up short in CD1, CD2, CD3 and CD6.
Blaha and Frazier technically have five days to appeal the Secretary of State’s decision, but the Secretary of State’s office is legally required to certify the primary ballot by Friday, April 29.
It’s unclear which date will take precedent.
Frazier indicated he was ready to go to court to try and get his name on the ballot.
“We presented more than enough valid signatures, and are fully prepared to win that argument,” he said on social media posts.
As of the close of courts, Blaha had not responded.
The race to dethrone incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet could now be a two-man showdown between ex-CSU Athletic Director Jack Graham and El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn. The Secretary of State’s office approved Graham’s valid signatures April 20, and Glenn made the ballot after a surprise victory at the Republican state assembly earlier this month.
The status of former state Rep. Jon Keyser’s Senate hopes remains uncertain after the Secretary of State deemed Keyser was 86 signatures short of the required total earlier this week. The Secretary of State cited a hiccup with the address listed on one of Keyser’s petition circulators’ voter registration as the cause for the infraction.
Keyser petitioned the decision in Denver District Court earlier this week. Judge Elizabeth Starrs has said that she will issue a decision on Keyser’s signatures by Friday, April 29.