Signature controversy: 2 Colorado Republican candidates could be kicked off primary ballot

DENVER — A growing number of Colorado political candidates could be removed from the primary ballot over allegations that petition circulators broke the law. 

A lawsuit filed by five voters claim signature gathers working for Kennedy Enterprises hired by Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn are not Colorado residents, which is required by state law. 

Now, Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton is facing the same potential fallout after it was revealed his campaign hired the same Colorado Springs-based firm Lamborn used to gather signatures to qualify for the June primary. 

Both candidates have filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit. A court hearing on the matter is scheduled for Tuesday morning in Denver District Court.

The lawsuit is challenging the residency claims made by the circulators listed on voter registration documents. 

According to records obtained by Denver7, circulators for both campaigns all registered to vote on the same day in January. Many of them also share the same Colorado address. A Thornton townhome and a hotel came up repeatedly on registration documents. 

In all, Lamborn's group collected nearly 700 of the 1,269 signatures that were submitted and accepted by the Colorado secretary of state’s office. Stapleton submitted 11,325 signatures that were deemed valid. 

A court will now decide the merits of the lawsuit and potentially the fate of the two candidates in the June primary.

Even if the court finds the signatures were gathered improperly, a judge could take no action against Lamborn and Stapleton.

Neither campaigns nor the Colorado Secretary of State’s office provided comment to Denver7.

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