Jon Keyser responds to ballot scandal by not responding to ballot scandal

Jon Keyser responds to ballot scandal by not responding to ballot scandal

Who is Keyser Söze?

That was the central question in the 1995 crime thriller “The Usual Suspects.”

Who is Keyser no-say?

That would be Jon Keyser, a candidate in the Republican primary who refuses to address a brewing scandal involving an explosive accusation of forged signatures— signatures his campaign turned into the Secretary of State in order to secure the former lawmaker a spot on the June primary ballot.

For about the past week, Denver7 TV reporter Marshal Zelinger of the local ABC affiliate has been dogging a story after a progressive group questioned potential fraud in the petition process Keyser’s campaign used to get on the ballot. Keyser needed 1,500 valid signatures from registered Republicans in each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts.

What Zelinger found: At least 10 people who say their names appear on Keyser petition forms who say they never signed a petition for Keyser.

The candidate didn’t respond to questions from Denver7 about the serious questions surrounding how he got on the ballot, and Zelinger hasn’t been shy in expressing his frustration about running up against the wall that is Campaign Keyser.

Things got worse for the one-time perceived front-runner in the crowded Republican primary when Keyser was asked a question about the signature scandal during a televised candidate forum today. Asked multiple times to address it, Keyser didn’t, instead repeating a line over and over about how he’s on the ballot, and about beating Democrat Michael Bennet.

National political observers are already taking note. In a headline, The Washington Post, called it a “Marco Rubio moment.”

If you think that video is awkward, then watch Zelinger catch an interview with Keyser during a break in that same forum, and listen to the candidate refer to Marshal Zelinger as “Mitchell” multiple times, accuse the reporter of “creeping around” the candidate’s house, waking up his kids, doing “the Democrats’ work,” and meeting his “huge,” “very protective” dog:

 

Earlier this week, 9News anchor Kyle Clark said “Calling Colorado’s Republican U.S. Senate primary a dumpster fire is an insult to burning dumpsters everywhere.”

Well, burn on.

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About the Author

Corey Hutchins

is a journalist in Colorado, and Columbia Journalism Review's Rocky Mountain correspondent for the United States Project. Follow him on Twitter @CoreyHutchins and email him at CoreyHutchins [at] gmail [dot] com.

2 Comments

  1. LJG on said:

    Whoosh! This campaign crashed and burned today thanks to candidate Keyser. It was smoldering before; now it’s in ashes. TX for the story.

  2. JohninDenver on said:

    One has a choice of descriptions about an interaction. Keyser says a reporter was “creeping around” his house, Zellinger says he walked up and knocked on the door.

    I have met Marshall Zellinger and know a little about the usual “jamming” techniques for interviews that stress reporters need to be on public property or acting as a member of the public would.

    We don’t need another politician so fearful of people that he and his campaign do not respond to phone calls or emails, consider someone knocking on a door as “creeping around,” and apparently believe they need a 165 pound dog to defend his home.

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