01 June 2010

Colorado Candidate Petitions Filed

The candidates filing to petitions to get on their respective Colorado primary ballots include:

* Jane Norton (R-U.S. Senate)
* Joe Gschwendtner (R-Governor)
* Walker Stapleton (R-Treasurer)
* Mark Hurlbert (R-State Senate from Eagle County)

* Joel Judd (D-State Senate District 34)
* Jennifer Coken (D-State House District 4)
* Amber Tafoya (D-State House District 4)
* Mark Mehringer (D-State House District 7)
* Blake Harrison (D-State House District 7)

Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert, who just missed getting onto the ballot at the May 21, District assembly, filed only 1200 signatures, faces a real risk that this won't meet the 30% of the previous primary vote or 1,000 (whichever is smaller) threshold. The other candidates planned to petition onto the ballot from the start or had more notice, so they are likely to have enough valid signatures.

Michael Bennet (D-U.S. Senate) collected signatures sufficient to get on the ballot, but didn't file them as he secured the same ballot position that he would have earned with the petition at the Colorado Democratic Party state convention where he got about 40% of the delegates (it takes 30% to get on the ballot).

The vast majority of candidates either gain ballot access through the caucus process (from caucus to state convention in a series of spring meetings), and abandon attempts to run if that doesn't produce the 30% level of support needed to get on the ballot. But, candidates in multi-candidate races sometimes opt out to avoid the quirkiness of multi-candidate caucus fights, and a few candidates with more money than grass roots party activist support seek the petition route from the beginning to avoid the embarassment of having to petition after receiving lukewarm support in the caucus process. Only a handful of state level elected officials at any one time got onto the ballot via a petition process, a fact that gives the state parties in Colorado considerable clout (as does their power to replace most mid-term vacancies of same party elected officials).

Ballot access for the August primary ballot is now closed although the names on the ballot won't be certified until June 11.

In many districts, one party is dominant and the winner of the primary is almost sure to win the general election. This is true of the multi-candidate Democratic primaries for state house districts 4 and 7 in Denver this time around, for example. And, multi-candidate primaries are always quirky because if a race has two candidates that are attractive to the same block of voters they tend to split the vote, giving a candidate preferred by a smaller block of voters.


Unknown said...


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