Federal judge rules Lamborn should be on primary ballot

Federal judge rules Lamborn should be on primary ballot
© Greg Nash

A federal judge ordered Colorado election officials on Tuesday to put Rep. Doug LambornDouglas (Doug) LambornOvernight Energy: Republicans eye top spot on Natural Resources panel | GOP lawmakers push back on bill to make greener refrigerators, air conditioners | Green groups sue Trump over California fracking plans Republicans eye top spot on Natural Resources panel Overnight Energy: Democrats grill BLM chief over plans to move headquarters | EPA moves to end its use of animal testing | Top NOAA official defends Trump over Alabama forecast MORE (R-Colo.) back on the ballot to defend his House seat.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Philip Brimmer essentially undercuts a Colorado Supreme Court ruling last week that booted the incumbent GOP lawmaker from the ballot after it was determined that out-of-state workers had helped him qualify for the district's Republican primary.

The state Supreme Court had said some of the petitioners Lamborn hired to collect signatures to qualify for the ballot were not bona fide residents of Colorado, violating state election laws.


Lamborn's attorney argued Monday that the Colorado law was unconstitutional and the six-term congressman should be allowed on the ballot.

Brimmer, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, ruled that Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams (R) could not enforce such a law.

"Wayne W. Williams shall certify Douglas Lamborn to the 2018 Republican primary ballot for the Fifth Congressional District unless, for reasons other than the residency requirement discussed in this order, he does not qualify," Brimmer wrote in his order.

In a statement issued Tuesday evening, Colorado Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert said that her office would "evaluate the case," but that the priority remained preparing for the election itself.

"We will evaluate the case, but right now our focus is on an election that fast approaches. Ballots must be printed and sent to our military and overseas voters on May 12th," she said.

Kyle Fisk, a spokesman for the group team that fought to remove Lamborn from the ballot, told The Denver Post that the legal team planned to appeal Brimmer's decision.