Judge places Lorena Garcia on Colorado’s U.S. Senate primary ballot

U.S. Senate candidate Lorena Garcia must be placed on the June 30 Democratic primary ballot, a Denver District Court judge ruled Thursday.

The ruling by Judge Christopher J. Baumann marks the third time in the past nine days that he has decided whether a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate should be on the ballot. In two cases — those of Michelle Ferrigno Warren and Garcia — he ruled in favor of the candidate. Baumann ruled against Diana Bray’s candidacy.

In all three cases, the candidates fell short of the usual 10,500-signature threshold — including 1,500 signatures from each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts — needed for ballot access. But in the cases of Warren and Garcia, the candidates showed a proficiency that indicated they would have collected enough in a non-pandemic world, according to Baumann.

“COVID-19 has turned everyone’s world upside down, including political campaigns, and we are pleased with the decision of the court,” Garcia said in a statement.

Baumann’s ruling in the Warren case is being challenged at the Colorado Supreme Court by the Secretary of State’s Office. That office was noncommittal on whether it will appeal the judge’s ruling in Garcia’s case.

“The Secretary of State’s Office wants to ensure our democratic processes remain accessible and fair, and recognizes the ongoing challenges posed by the coronavirus,” spokeswoman Betsy Hart said Thursday. “In light of this ruling, we will consider the various options and determine that best path forward.”

If Garcia and Warren are allowed on the June 30 Democratic ballot, they will join Andrew Romanoff and John Hickenlooper in the U.S. Senate race. The winner will challenge Sen. Cory Gardner, a Yuma Republican, in the November election.

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