Election 2018Hot SheetLegislature

Democrat Alan Kennedy-Shaffer wins Flores endorsement, submits petitions in Senate District 34 primary

Author: Ernest Luning - March 13, 2018 - Updated: March 13, 2018

Alan Kennedy-ShafferColorado Army National Guard Capt. Alan Kennedy-Shaffer (Photo courtesy VoteVets)

Democrat Alan Kennedy-Shaffer, one of four primary candidates in Denver’s Senate District 34, delivered petitions with 1,400 signatures to the Colorado secretary of state’s office on Monday, his campaign said.

The attorney and Colorado Army National Guard captain also announced he’s been endorsed by Val Flores, who represents the 1st Congressional District on the Colorado State Board of Education.

“Alan Kennedy-Shaffer is a teacher and progressive Democrat who will be a champion for public education and neighborhood schools in the Senate,” Flores said in a statement.

Attorney Edward “Milo” Schwab, one of the other two candidates for the seat held by term-limited Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman, a Denver Democrat, also submitted petitions to get on the June 26 primary ballot Monday.

Immigrant rights advocate Julie Gonzales, who has been endorsed by Guzman, filed her petitions nearly two weeks ago, while landscape architect Jonah Weiss has until March 20 to file his.

Legislative candidates can make the June 26 primary ballot two ways — with 1,000 valid signatures from fellow party members, by receiving at least 30 percent support from delegates to the district assembly. Candidates who opt to go both routes have to get the votes of at least 10 percent of assembly delegates, or else their petitions won’t count.

In a release announcing his petition milestone and the endorsement, Kennedy-Shaffer boasted that he’s represented clients who sued the Trump administration — challenging the first version of the president’s travel ban and a rule change that would allow employers to deny birth control coverage through their employees’ insurance plans. His client prevailed in the first lawsuit; a verdict is pending in the second.

Kennedy-Shaffer also wrote a Denver ordinance — adopted by the city in late January — that bans “bump stocks,” devices reportedly used in last fall’s Las Vegas massacre that can turn some rifles into the equivalent of automatic weapons. In addition, last summer he subpoenaed  U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner to answer questions about the arrest of five disability advocates who were staging a sit-in protest at the Republican senator’s Denver office.

“I sued Trump — and won — and am not afraid to stand up to Trump, Gardner and the (National Rifle Association),” Kennedy-Shaffer said in a statement. “Together, we will secure justice for all, education for all, and healthcare for all. Our community needs a champion.”

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.