Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Mike Kopp, Scott Gessler make their way onto Republican primary ballot for Colorado governor

By Megan Schrader Updated: April 14, 2014 at 7:40 am

BOULDER - In the five-way Republican showdown for the governor's office Saturday, former state lawmaker Mike Kopp and Secretary of State Scott Gessler eked their way onto the primary ballot.

At the daylong event at the University of Colorado Coors Events Center, 3,961 voting GOP delegates listened to speeches from statewide candidates and cast ballots to determine whose names would make it onto the June 24 primary ballot for a shot to win the Republican nomination.

Rep. Cory Gardner was the lone candidate selected to represent the party for the U.S. Senate race. Gardner will face Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in November.

"Mark Udall was just along for the ride," Gardner said. "He put up roadblocks instead of green lights. Mark Udall was just along for the ride in a time when we needed our senator to put principle over party."

Gardner all but cleared the field when he entered the U.S. Senate race abandoning his bid for re-election to Congress, but the two candidates who stayed in the race didn't make the ballot.

Udall is unopposed in the Democratic Party and spoke Saturday in Denver at the Democratic state assembly at the downtown Denver Convention Center.

Kopp surprised many when he received slightly more delegate votes than Gessler - putting his name at the top of the ballot - but both candidates just barely earned the required 30 percent of votes to ensure a seat on the ballot.

The remaining candidates - State Sen. Greg Brophy, businessman Steve House, and Roni Bell Sylvester - all fell below the threshold.

Former representatives Tom Tancredo and Bob Beauprez turned in signatures from 1,500 voters in each of Colorado's seven congressional districts to get on the ballot. Tancredo's signatures have been verified, so he will get on the ballot, but Beauprez is awaiting final approval.

The winner in June will face Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper in November. Hickenlooper wasn't opposed within his party.

The Republican battle has been very clean with none of the candidates going negative. With four candidates on the ballot in June, that might change.

There will also be a Republican primary election for attorney general between two candidates vying to replace term-limited John Suthers.

Rep. Mark Waller, the former House minority leader from Colorado Springs, squeaked onto the ballot with 31 percent of the delegate vote behind current Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, who got 69 percent.

Coffman was nominated by her husband, Rep. Mike Coffman, and Suthers.

Waller is a well-known name in his home of El Paso County, which had more delegates at the event than any other county.

The winner of that showdown will face candidate Don Quick, who didn't draw an opponent at the Democratic assembly.

In November, it will be a contest between El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams, the only Republican to file for secretary of state, and University of Colorado Regent Joe Neguse, who became the lone Democrat running when candidate Ken Gordon unexpectedly died.

The winner will replace Gessler, who won a seat on the ballot for governor Saturday.

Citizens will also vote in November on state treasurer. Incumbent Walker Stapleton accepted the lone nomination in the Republican Party and will face former Rep. Betsy Markey.

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Contact Megan Schrader:

719-286-0644

Twitter: @CapitolSchrader

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