The day before Walker Stapleton won the 2018 Republican primary for governor, he filed a lawsuit against the company that gathered signatures to get him on the ballot.
The lawsuit, filed June 25 in Denver District Court, alleges Kennedy Enterprises breached its contract when it “unethically and unlawfully failed to disclose that it was gathering petition signatures using shadow circulators,” according to documents obtained by The Denver Post on Friday.
Stapleton is asking to be awarded the $260,000 he paid the Colorado Springs-based signature collection firm, attorneys’ fees and “such other and further relief as is just and proper.”
“Dan Kennedy lied to our campaign and the secretary of state for weeks regarding how petitions were collected, and when backed into a corner he came clean with us,” said Michael Fortney, Stapleton’s campaign manager. “Immediately after we learned about this fraud, Walker made the honorable and honest decision and voluntarily took his name off the ballot. He said that day he would sue Dan Kennedy, and he’s following through.”
The court filings detail how Stapleton, who was then Colorado’s treasurer, and his team scrambled to figure out what happened and whether he could legally remain on the ballot in the wake of news reports in March 2018 alleging misconduct by Dan Kennedy’s firm.