The wild Republican contest for U.S. Senate in Colorado descended into disarray Thursday, as two more candidates failed to qualify for the ballot.
Robert Blaha and Ryan Frazier each fell short of the required 10,500 petition signatures, according to the secretary of state's office, leaving just two candidates standing in a nationally watched race that once featured more than a dozen challengers to Democrat Michael Bennet.
Both candidates have five days to appeal the decision; Frazier said he would. Blaha sent the following statement to Denver7:
Late this afternoon we were notified by the Secretary of State that our petition was insufficient, and we are currently evaluating the Secretary of State's report. After we have concluded a thorough evaluation, we will have further comment regarding our next steps in seeking the Republican nomination for U.S Senate. We believe that after our review, the final analysis will validate that we are in substantial compliance.
Another candidate, former state Rep. Jon Keyser, is asking a Denver judge to put him on the ballot after his campaign made a mistake in collecting petitions that left him 86 signatures short earlier this week.
In Colorado, the U.S. Senate candidates can win a spot on the ballot through the caucus system or submit petitions with 1,500 signatures of registered voters in each of the state's seven congressional districts.
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