Election 2018News

Candidates for legislature, state board of education qualify for ballot by petition

Author: Ernest Luning - April 20, 2018 - Updated: May 10, 2018

billThe Colorado Capitol is pictured on a sunny day in this file photo. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Three legislative candidates and one candidate for the State Board of Education have successfully petitioned onto the June primary ballot, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced Thursday — although one of them just made it, with only a dozen signatures to spare.

To get on the ballot for those offices by petition, candidates must gather signatures of 1,000 fellow party members from their district — or 30 percent of the number of voters in the last primary election in the district, if that’s fewer signatures. Alternatively, candidates could go through the caucus and assembly process, which wrapped up last weekend for both parties.

Bayfield Democrat Guinn Unger Jr. will be on the ballot in southwest Colorado’s Senate District 6, a seat held by state Sen. Don Coram, R-Montrose. Coram was appointed to fill a vacancy in January 2017 and is running for a full, four-year term in November.

State officials said 1,189 of the 1,538 signatures Unger submitted met requirements.

Jacque Phillips, a Thornton Democrat, will be running in a primary in House District 34 in Adams County. That’s the seat that was held by former state Rep. Steve Lebsock, who became the first sitting lawmaker to be expelled by fellow members in more than 100 years in March.

Phillips qualified for the ballot by turning in 883 valid signatures — 12 more than the 871 required under the formula. She’ll be facing off in June against Kyle Mullica, who won top-line in the Democratic primary at the party’s district assembly.

About an hour before the House voted, Lebsock switched his registration from Democrat to Republican, giving a GOP committee the chance to fill the vacancy. The Republicans appointed Alex “Skinny” Winkler, R-Northlglenn, to the seat, and he’s seeking a full term.

Republican Colin Larson made the House District 22 primary for the Jefferson County seat held by state Rep. Justin Everett, R-Littleton, a candidate for state treasurer. Larson is facing Frank Francone, who got on the ballot at assembly, in the primary.

Larson had 1,158 signatures accepted of the 2,154 he submitted.

Democrat Todd Kastetter is his party’s nominee in the district.

Tim Krug, a Franktown Democrat, is running for the State Board of Education seat for the 4th Congressional District. He turned in 1,484 signatures, and 1,252 of them were ruled OK.

Drug is challenging incumbent Republican Debora Scheffel, who was appointed to the seat in February and is running for a full term. Scheffel represented the 6th Congressional District seat but lost a 2016 bid for reelection to Democrat Rebecca McClellan. She moved within Douglas County into the different congressional district last year.

The secretary has until April 27 to certify the ballot for the June 26 primary election.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.