Tancredo first out of gate, turns in 15K petition signatures

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo said on his Facebook page late Thursday that he turned in 15,000 signatures on petitions to the Secretary of State to get on the primary ballot.

He’s the first of the GOP candidates for governor to turn in petition signatures, which are due Monday. Bob Beauprez, Roni Bell Sylvester and Steve House also said they’d petition on to the ballot.

The Secretary of State’s office will review the signatures to make sure enough of them are valid. Colorado law requires a minimum of 10,500 signatures to make the statewide ballot.

But candidates must gather 1,500 signatures from each of seven congressional districts. That requirement tripped up 2006 GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman, who turned in more than 21,000 signatures, but failed to turn in enough signatures in two of the congressional districts.

Holtzman’s failure gave Bob Beauprez the nomination without a primary vote. Democrat Bill Ritter defeated Beauprez in the general election that year.

At least three other candidates are trying to make the ballot solely by getting 30 percent of the vote from delegates at the Republican State Assembly in Boulder on April 12. They are Greg Brophy, Scott Gessler and Mike Kopp. Any of the candidates trying to petition on to the ballot also could try to get on the primary ballot at the assembly. Petition candidates also must get at least 10 percent of the assembly vote.

It’s possible that the GOP could end up with a three- or four-way primary for governor if two candidates succeed in getting 30 percent or more at the ballot and two candidates successfully petition on the ballot.

The winner of the June 24 primary will face Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper on Nov. 4.