Former state Rep. Jon Keyser of Morrison fell 86 signatures short of making the primary ballot for the Republican nod for U.S. Senate.
Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced today that Keyser, who decided to petition his way onto the June 28 primary ballot, was short 86 signatures in Congressional District 3. He had the requisite number of signatures in the state’s six other congressional districts. He was required to collect at least 1,500 signatures in each district.
Keyser’s campaign submitted a total of 16,067 signatures, but the Secretary of State determined that more than 4,600 were invalid, including more than 600 of the 2,000 submitted in District 3.
Keyser jumped into the U.S. Senate race last year, and resigned his state House seat shortly after the 2016 session began. He was considered the leading establishment candidate by some Republicans and boasted he had $3 million in soft-money commitments before he had even entered the race.
But his first campaign finance report failed to reflect those commitments. According to the Federal Election Commission, Keyser raised only $300,000 in the first quarter of 2016, and he also loaned his campaign $100,000. That report also listed $200,000 in “operating” expenditures but doesn’t specify how those funds were spent.
The Keyser campaign released a statement a short time ago that they will challenge the Secretary of State’s ruling.
Matt Connelly, Keyser’s communications director, said, “We are confident that we secured the necessary number of signatures to appear on the ballot and we will be pursuing legal action to ensure thousands of Coloradans are not disenfranchised.”
The Secretary of State has already determined that Jack Graham, former athletic director at Colorado State University, qualified for the June 28 ballot with a sufficient number of signatures. Still unknown: whether two other candidates, Ryan Frazier of Aurora and Robert Blaha of Colorado Springs, submitted enough signatures to qualify.
Photo credit: Jon Keyser for Senate