DENVER — A Denver District Court judge ordered Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser to be placed on the ballot for the June Republican primary.
Earlier this week, the Secretary of State’s Office said Keyser fell 86 signatures short of making the ballot. Some observers see the former state lawmaker as the best chance to beat incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet in the fall.
Keyser, a former state representative, needed to get 1,500 valid signatures from Republican voters in each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts for a total of 10,500.
He was short 86 signatures in Congressional District 3. The district covers the western third of the state and an area of southern Colorado that extends to the eastern Plains.
The Secretary of State’s Office said Keyser submitted 16,067 signatures. After a line-by-line review, 11,436 were determined to be valid.
RELATED: Signature breakdown for Jon Keyser
Keyser’s campaign sued Secretary of State Wayne Williams and on Friday, Judge Elizabeth Starrs ordered the candidate’s name be placed on the ballot.
“The Court orders the Colorado Secretary of State to accept all of the petitions submitted by Jon Keyser which were rejected on the basis that Tyler Gonzalez did not meet the statutory requirements for being a circulator,” the judge wrote in her ruling.
“In doing so, if that increases the number of valid signatures to 1,500 or more from each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts, for a total of at least 10,500 valid signatures statewide, the Colorado Secretary of State is ordered to place Jon Keyser’s name on the 2016 Republican Party’s primary election ballot for United States Senator.”
RELATED: Keyser order
The primary, which is a mail-in ballot, will be held June 28. Former Colorado State University athletic director Jack Graham and El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn have qualified for the ballot.
Two other candidates — Robert Blaha and Ryan Frazier — also fell short of the signatures needed to qualify and are expected to go to court as well.
Bennet is running unopposed in the Democratic primary ballot.