DENVER – A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that Rep. Doug Lamborn should be on the Republican primary ballot, finding Lamborn would likely prevail in a lawsuit contending his dismissal from the ballot last week was unconstitutional.
The Colorado Supreme Court last week booted Lamborn from the ballot, finding one of the people who circulated petitions on his behalf does not live in the state and therefore the signatures he gathered must be stricken. Without those signatures Lamborn, running for re-election, dropped below the threshold of the 1,000 he needed to collect to make the June 26 ballot.
But U.S. District Court Judge Philip Brimmer found Colorado's residency requirement apparently violates the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment protecting the freedom of political association and speech. He issued an injunction that Lamborn sought placing the six-term congressman's name on the ballot, finding he'd likely win the argument at a full trial.
"We are extremely pleased that the judge ruled in our favor and has ensured that Congressman Lamborn's name will appear on the primary ballot," Lamborn's campaign spokesman Dan Bayens said in a statement. "Consistent with court rulings here in Colorado and around the country, the federal court agreed that the part of Colorado election law that requires petition collectors to be state residents is unconstitutional and unduly infringes on the First Amendment rights of voters and petition circulators."
Lamborn will face state Senator Owen Hill, whose supporters filed the lawsuit initially knocking Lamborn off the ballot, and former El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn in the primary.