PINE — After initially declining to challenge Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold in court over her invalidating more than 500 signatures on petitions to place Erik Aadland on the 7th Congressional District primary ballot, Aadland has changed his mind.
The Republican candidate announced Tuesday afternoon his intent to sue Griswold’s office for what he called party-line politics.
“The Secretary of State, well-known for being a partisan hack, has thrown out hundreds of my petition signatures (over 26%) unjustly and without merit,” Aadland said in a news release. “These signatures were all professionally verified to be registered Republicans living in District 7. Unfortunately, it seems Secretary Griswold has once again put her finger on the scale assuming candidates will not have the means to launch a costly and time-intensive lawsuit.”
Aadland needed 1,500 verified signatures from registered Republicans in the district to forgo the assembly process. Griswold’s office threw out 519 signatures, leaving him just 46 short of reaching the goal.
“It appears that she has abused her powers to unduly prevent me from being on the ballot,” Aadland said. “Not only does this smell of corruption, but it is a dangerous precedent that can affect the outcome of our elections.”
Aadland plans to continue to seek the nomination through his party’s assembly process, which meets to nominate candidates on April 8 in Colorado Springs. Most of the 7th Congressional District lies in Jefferson County.
“I am proud to be participating in the CD7 assembly, a time-honored process, where I will seek the support of those most invested in this grassroots process, and who are rising to the occasion to select the best candidates to serve the United States and Colorado in this time of great crisis,” Aadland said.
However, the two-time Bronze Star, combat veteran said the lawsuit is for the benefit of all candidates and parties.
“I am launching this lawsuit on behalf of all candidates regardless of party because ballot access and election integrity are fundamental to our democratic process and the workings of a free country,” Aadland said.
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