Jon Keyser loses a spot on the ballot by 86 signatures

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.

Related: Jon Keyser parachutes into U.S. Senate 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

has been a political journalist since 1998. She covered the state capitol for the Silver & Gold Record from 1998 to 2009 and for The Colorado Statesman in 2010-11 and 2013-14. Since 2010 she also has covered the General Assembly for newspapers in northeastern Colorado. She was recognized with awards from the Colorado Press Association for feature writing and informational graphics for her work with the Statesman in 2012.


  1. That’s nearly 5,000 invalid signatures – none easier to get than Congressional District 3 which was shockingly bad. Katie, what happened, you were in charge? You barely squeaked enough out of CD 5 and CD 6, strongholds for Republicans. Sloppy job. Good luck on your challenge – I can guarantee you the Secretary of State’s office combed those petitions several times to ensure the validity results – that’s probably why the lengthy delay.

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