The following press release arrived via email: [update: read the complaint]
Libertarian Party of Colorado sues Secretary Gessler to allow nomination of Recall Successor Candidates
Denver, Colorado — The Libertarian Party of Colorado has filed suit today for emergency relief in Denver District Court against Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler for violating provisions of the Colorado Constitution that provide fair access to the ballot by all qualified candidates.
On July 22, Secretary Gessler issued an emergency rule concerning recall successor candidates for Senate District 11 (Colorado Springs) and Senate District 3 (Pueblo), requiring a 10 day deadline for nominating petitions in a recall election. However, Article XXI of the Colorado Constitution allows any qualified candidate the right to submit completed nominating petitions up to 15 days in advance of the election date.
“It is clear that this hasty rule by the Secretary of State conflicts with the Constitution, and we have filed suit to ensure that we have the full time granted by the people of Colorado,” says Libertarian Party State Chair, Jeff Orrok, adding, “We oppose any attempt by the legislative or executive branches to deny our candidates, our members, and the voters of Districts 3 and 11 their fundamental rights and the ability to choose the best replacements for these overreaching senators.”
Co-plaintiffs in the suit include Richard Anglund of Pueblo and Gordon Butt of Colorado Springs, but other potential candidates stand to benefit as well. The Libertarian Party stands for equal access to the ballot by all candidates regardless of affiliation. “Unlike some in the two major parties who have sought to shut out candidates from other parties — and even some from within their own ranks — all we seek is a level playing field and adherence to the Constitution, ” remarked Orrok.
The Libertarian Party anticipates an immediate hearing and is confident the court will rule in its favor, since there is a body of case law that supports its position. If the judge rules in the plaintiffs’ favor, they expect the Secretary of State to be ordered to accept nominating petitions through Monday, August 26 and the county clerks to be ordered not to distribute ballots without the inclusion of candidates who submit sufficient signatures by that date.