CongressElection 2018News

Republican Darryl Glenn qualifies for 5th Congressional District primary ballot by petition

Author: Ernest Luning - February 28, 2018 - Updated: February 28, 2018

In this April 9, 2016, file photo, El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn speaks at the Colorado Republican State Convention in Colorado Springs. On Monday, July 17, 2017, Glenn declared he was running for the 5th Congressional District held by Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

Republican congressional candidate Darryl Glenn will be on the primary ballot in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District, the secretary of state’s office said Tuesday after ruling the El Paso County commissioner submitted a sufficient number of valid signatures on his petitions.

Glenn, one of four Republicans challenging six-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, is the first candidate to qualify for the ballot under new rules requiring the secretary of state to determine whether petition signatures match those on file with election officials.

Out of the 1,739 signatures the Glenn campaign turned in two weeks earlier, officials said 1,239 got the OK — more than the 1,000 required for congressional candidates to advance to the June 26 primary.

“We are excited to start the next phase of our campaign,” Glenn told Colorado Politics. “We feel blessed to have received a tremendous level of support and encouragement.”

Saying that his campaign team is “dedicated to leading from the front,” Glenn added, “We look forward to bridging the divide in this country and providing leadership on implementing solutions to a growing number of challenges impacting our communities.”

Candidates can get on Colorado’s primary election ballot by gathering petition signatures, going through the parties’ caucuses and assemblies, or both.

Two years ago, Glenn was the GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Michael Bennet and was the only candidate to make the crowded primary ballot at the state assembly rather than by petitioning.

This year, a record 60 candidates for Congress, statewide office and legislative seats are petitioning onto the ballot, including 19 candidates for Colorado’s seven congressional seats. In the 5th District alone, every one of the declared candidates — five Republicans and three Democrat — has been approved to circulate petitions.

Statewide candidates — for governor, attorney general, state treasurer and secretary of state — have to gather 10,500 signatures from fellow party members, including 1,500 from each congressional district, while it only takes 1,000 signatures to qualify for congressional and legislative races. Those going through assembly must get the support of 30 percent of delegates in a process that starts March 6 at precinct caucuses. Candidates who opt for both routes — a popular option this year — have to clear 10 percent delegate support or their petitions will be thrown out, even if they have enough valid signatures.

The deadline to submit petitions is March 20. Candidates were able to start gathering signatures on Jan. 16.

By late Tuesday, Glenn was the only congressional candidate — and one of just five candidates overall — to have turned in petitions. The candidates whose petitions are in the process of being verified are former state Sen. Mike Johnston, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate; Republican State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, also running for governor; and two Democrats running for state Senate seats in Denver, Zach Neumann in Senate District 32 and Julie Gonzales in Senate District 34.

The other Republicans challenging Lamborn are state Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, former Texas state judge Bill Rhea and former Green Mountain Falls Mayor Tyler Stevens, who jumped in the race last week. Lamborn and Hill have said they’re considering going through the congressional district assembly in addition to or instead of petitioning.

Candidates who get their petitions in first have an advantage over primary rivals because voters are just allowed to sign one petition for the same office — so even if they’ve signed multiple petitions, only the first signature checked by election officials will count. The secretary of state’s office processes petitions in the order they’re received.

State lawmakers added the requirement to match signatures with those on file last year following a scandal involving forged signatures that turned up on a candidate’s petitions in 2016.

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.