Businessman Doug Robinson is the latest casualty in Colorado’s governor race after the Secretary of State’s office said Friday he failed to earn enough signatures to petition onto the June GOP primary.
Meanwhile, Castle Rock businessman Victor Mitchell has reason to celebrate after the Secretary of State’s office said he successfully petitioned onto the primary ballot.
Both Mitchell and Robinson needed 1,500 valid signatures from Republican voters in the state’s seven Congressional districts (10,500 overall). While Robinson submitted 11,343 valid signatures, he didn’t get enough from the 2nd Congressional District. The Secretary of State’s documents showed Robinson turned in 2,092 signatures in the 2nd Congressional District, but only 1,478 were valid.
Robinson’s campaign said in a statement that they will be appealing the decision.
“We know that we have enough signatures. We will be challenging the decision,” Robinson’s campaign said Friday.
Robinson said Thursday in an interview with Denverite that he was expecting his signatures to be ready, “any day” and said they had been in communication with the secretary’s office as, “part of the normal process.” He submitted 17,391 overall last month.
“I think we’re going to be fine,” Robinson said on Thursday. “We took the unusual step of validating all of our signatures…we took every signature and we matched it up with the voter database to make sure that the name and the address were the same.”
Secretary of State spokesperson Lynn Bartels said Robinson was allowed to cure (or fix) signatures but still came up short.
“For us, this is now over. For him to get on the ballot, he has to go to court,”Bartels said.
Mitchell submitted 14,515 valid signatures, according to the Secretary of State’s release. Mitchell submitted his signatures on March 7.
Michell and Robinson were the only two GOP candidates who were awaiting news about their petitions. Baring something further from Robinson’s campaign, the Republican Primary ballot is now set: Mitchell joins State Treasurer Walker Stapleton and former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez on the ballot. Lopez and Stapleton qualified onto the ballot through last weekend’s Republican State Assembly.
A former state representative, Mitchell said this week his candidacy submitted the highest amount of signatures of any Republican (he said he submitted 26,085 signatures in all). He said his candidacy obtained signatures in most counties in the state.
Since announcing his candidacy last year, Mitchell said his campaign has hosted more than 500 “grassroots events” around the state and has visited 61 out of the 64 counties in Colorado. The events are usually free meet-and-greets.
“We’re so proud of all the grassroots supporters all over the state,” Mitchell said. “It really just shows you that there is so much energy. We’re sick and tired of career politicians, political dynasty candidates. People want an outsider, a true outsider.”
Mitchell said he’s not taking any money from special interests groups and isn’t seeking political endorsements. He was scheduled to visit the Western Slope this week.
“We have supporters across all 64 counties,” Mitchell said. “We are truly the grassroots candidate.”
On the Democrats side, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne is the only candidate who’s petition signatures are awaiting verification. The review process for signatures turned in by U.S. Rep. Jared Polis were halted after he qualified onto the primary ballot through last week’s state assembly, according to the Secretary of State’s office.