Election 2018GovernorNews

Republican Doug Robinson turns in nominating petitions for Colorado governor’s race

Author: Ernest Luning - March 5, 2018 - Updated: March 5, 2018

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In this file photo, Diane and Doug Robinson attend a discussion with U.S. Rep. Ken Buck about the Republican's book "Drain the Swamp: How Washington Corruption is Worse Than You Think" on April 10, 2017, at Colorado Christian University's Lakewood campus. (File photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)In this file photo, Diane and Doug Robinson attend a discussion with U.S. Rep. Ken Buck about the Republican’s book “Drain the Swamp: How Washington Corruption is Worse Than You Think” on April 10, 2017, at Colorado Christian University’s Lakewood campus. (File photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Republican Doug Robinson, a candidate for governor of Colorado and Mitt Romney’s nephew, turned in petitions to the secretary of state’s office Monday morning in hopes of qualifying for the June primary ballot.

“The petition process is extremely complex, involving hundreds of man hours — not only in talking to voters and collecting signatures, but in verification and diligence as well. As with any big project, it feels great to get this done,” Robinson said in a statement.

The retired investment banker submitted roughly 17,000 signatures, his campaign said, and is the second GOP gubernatorial candidate to turn his in, following State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, who delivered his petitions to election officials last month. It takes 10,500 valid signatures from fellow party members — 1,500 from each of the state’s seven congressional districts — for statewide candidates to land a spot on the primary.

Referring to a scandal involving forged petition signatures that derailed GOP Senate candidate Jon Keyser’s campaign last cycle, Robinson emphasized that his campaign took extra time to determine his signatures ought to meet legal requirements.

“Republicans have been burned before by lazy candidates and campaigns that were eager to skirt around the rules. After watching what happened in the 2016 U.S. Senate Primary, we wanted to make sure we got this done right and that Colorado voters were respected in the process,” Robinson said in a statement. “This is why my campaign has gone to great lengths to ensure that we are following the rules, and that there is no margin for error in our process.”

Robinson noted that his campaign submitted documentation to the secretary of state demonstrating his campaign’s paid circulators were eligible to gather signatures, along with what he described as a record of the campaign’s “line-by-line validation.”

“We’re proud to have taken our time with this process, and to have done it the right way,” he added.

Candidate have been able to circulate petitions since Jan. 16 and have until March 20 to turn them in.

The secretary of state’s office is comparing petition signatures to voters’ signatures on file — an additional step in the verification process mandated last year by state lawmakers in the wake of Keyser’s problems.

El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, one of four Republicans challenging six-term U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn in the 5th Congressional District, learned last week he had submitted a sufficient number of valid signatures.

Entrepreneur and former state lawmaker Victor Mitchell, another Republican running for governor, is also circulating petitions.

Other GOP candidates hoping to replace term-limited Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper — including Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter III, former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez and former Trump campaign official Steve Barlock — are going through the caucus and assembly process. That starts Tuesday night at precinct caucuses and finishes April 14 at the state assembly, where candidates need the support of at least 30 percent of delegates to make the primary ballot.

Seven Democrats are also running for the office.

The primary election is June 26.

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.