Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) is pursuing legal action to keep his name on the June 26 primary ballot after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that hundreds of signatures on his candidate petitions were collected by people who did not live in his district.
“We recognize the gravity of this conclusion, but Colorado law does not permit us to conclude otherwise,” wrote Judge Brian Whitney in a decision released Monday afternoon. Lamborn’s campaign pledged immediately to fight the decision.
“We are disappointed by the outcome and believe it was wrongly decided,” said Lamborn spokesman Dan Bayens. “We are immediately bringing an action in federal court to overturn the part of Colorado law that deprives voters who have petitioned to have Congressman Lamborn on the ballot of their constitutional rights.”
While such a constitutional challenge may well have merit, it may be too late to get relief for Lamborn in this case. He should have challenged the rule before collecting such signatures using people who were not state residents.
The Colorado Supreme Court said it lacked jurisdiction to decide the constitutional issue. To bring this up now in federal court raises issues of both abstention and claim/issue preclusion.