Garcia suspends her campaign

For Immediate Release

May 8, 2022

After a loss in federal court last night, it is with a heavy heart that the Lorena for Senate campaign has announced the suspension of its campaign for U.S. Senate. Yesterday evening, the judge issued a ruling based on facts alleged by the Attorney General’s Office on behalf of the Secretary of State’s office which were not supported by the record, and which the campaign disputes. Once again, the campaign was shut down without a hearing.

A statement from Lorena Garcia follows:

We are concerned that the federal court’s ruling was based on inaccurate representations: that the campaign knew when it turned in its signatures on March 17 that it did not have enough signatures in each Congressional District; that it could have changed course to proceed through the caucus assembly process at that time; and that we waited until the last minute to file in court. To the contrary, when we turned in our signatures on March 17, we knew we had close to 14,000 signatures (far more than the required 10,500), but did not know how they were distributed among the congressional districts until the SOS completed its review almost 5 weeks later on April 20. The deadline for proceeding through the March 7 caucus (the first step of the assembly process) had long passed. 

We proceeded to state court immediately — 4 days after the SOS’s April 20th notice — and filed in federal court less than 24 hours after the Colorado Supreme Court found we were not on the ballot, without even giving us an opportunity to be heard. But the damage is done, the ballot has been certified based on the federal court’s ruling, and we are ending our campaign. 

When we started this race back in November 2018, we knew we would face challenges beyond measure. What we didn’t expect was how much support we’d receive. We did not expect our first organizing meeting to bring 40 people into the same room from all over Colorado. We did not expect to see our messaging and our ideas adopted by multiple opponents. We did not expect to receive notes from people all over the state and country, letting us know they feel heard for the first time. I never imagined the profound impact that all of the people of Colorado would have on me and our campaign, or that my candidacy would have on so many people. And I certainly never imagined the gift of meeting so many incredible people all across the state that I now consider family. 

On March 5, COVID-19 reared its ugly head in Colorado. We had 12 days left in our tight, 57-day window to collect 1,500 signatures from each of the seven congressional districts in Colorado. Our incredible team of 192 volunteers felt the impact immediately. Large and small events were canceled. People stopped opening their doors, and our efforts to collect the necessary valid number of signatures — already an unprecedented task for a 100% volunteer team — became even more challenging. 

The Colorado State Legislature acted swiftly to address the challenges with the assembly process, yet failed to address the public health of petition circulators and voters at the doors.

On March 17, we submitted 13,812 reviewable signatures to the Secretary of State. While this was more than the 10,500 needed, the SOS threw out over 4,000 signatures for different reasons, leaving us short of the 1,500 threshold for each congressional district. On the advice from the Colorado Democratic Party, other candidates, and the Secretary of State (SOS), a possible remedy to address the inaction of the legislature for ballot access was to sue the SOS for ballot access. So, we did.

We participated in two evidentiary hearings, one of which ran past 9 pm. We challenged more than 200 of the signatures that were rejected, and the district court judge agreed with us: they should have been counted.  We were granted ballot access by the judge’s ruling, but the SOS appealed. The Colorado Supreme Court then removed us from the ballot without even offering us a chance to provide a response.  We filed our case in federal court the next day.  We did all of this in just two weeks, whereas the SOS took almost five weeks to review our signatures. Still, the federal judge agreed with arguments that we had unduly delayed pursuing our rights.

We gave this everything we had and came up short on making ballot access and giving Coloradans the option of choosing a people-centered candidate. Our race was historic. I was the first woman of color to run for US Senate in Colorado, and the first out member of the LGBTQIA community. I could have been the third woman in the history of Colorado to be placed on the ballot for US Senate. In the 144 years that Colorado has been a state, we have never had a woman Senator. Unfortunately, both our electoral system — which lifts up established candidates — and an unprecedented pandemic robbed us all of not only making history, but of electing a well-qualified candidate that reflects the people of Colorado to our US Senate.

Our fight will not end here. We will turn our energy towards helping local progressive candidates win their races. Candidates including Ilana Spiegel for CU Regent, Amy Padden and Alexis King for DA, Iman Jodeh and Randi McCallian for Colorado Senate, and John Ronquillo, Sally Boccella, Holly Herson, Jennifer Mitkowski, And Katie Barrett for State Representatives.

JUST IN: Lorena Garcia makes the June Primary Ballot!

For Immediate Release                          Contact: Meghan Dougherty
April 30,2020                                               720-560-0177

Denver, Colo. In an expected ruling by a Denver district court judge Thursday afternoon, Secretary of State Jena Griswold has been ordered to place Lorena Garcia on the Primary ballot for June 30. 

“Our grassroots team organized nearly 200 volunteers all across Colorado to collect signatures to make sure that Coloradans have a true people-centered candidate on the ballot this June,” said Lorena Garcia. “COVID19 has turned everyone’s world upside down, including political campaigns, and we are pleased with the decision of the court.”

Garcia’s signatures surpassed by over 4,000 the 50% threshold ruled necessary to make the ballot by the judge. The Secretary of State deemed 9,427 signatures valid, and 1,744 signatures were thrown out because either the signer had not been affiliated with the Democratic party for 29 days prior to signing, or they had signed for another candidate. Garcia’s campaign sees this as a strength of their grassroots organizing: they are reaching beyond the Democratic Party and attracting newly affiliated voters.

“Our campaign has had to contend with a lot of barriers, but this victory proves that Colorado is ready for a new type of leadership,” added Garcia. “Having earned the widespread support of Democrats, unaffiliated voters, and even some Republicans, our campaign is reaching the people and our message of justice and equity is resonating across party lines.”

The campaign will continue to fight. 

“We continue this fight because we refuse to give in to the political machine that keeps diverse voices off the ballot. Colorado deserves elected leaders who will always put people first. We continue this fight because our values command it. We deserve a society in which equal opportunity is a reality, in which people work one job and earn a living wage, and in which our planet is thriving, not dying,” said Garcia.

For more information and to donate, visit the website

About Lorena Garcia

Lorena Garcia has been working on the frontlines leading non-profit social justice policy advocacy organizations for the last fifteen years, fighting for equity, dignity, and justice for everyone, especially those who have been pushed to the margins. As a candidate for US Senate, Garcia believes that it is time for a new voice and a new type of leadership in the US Senate. We are at a crossroads in our history where we can no longer accept the status quo but must take courageous action to fix our broken government systems. She is dedicated to creating a country where thriving means every individual has access to economic opportunity, no matter where one lives, family origins, gender, race, physical ability, or sexual orientation. She is running, not for political aspiration or special interest, but because she believes the path to change must begin with innovative leaders who will work as tirelessly as she has for the interests of every Coloradan. 

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Why We Fight

Sixteen months ago, we embarked on an effort that seemed impossible: earn Colorado’s votes to be its next U.S. Senator. We traveled the state to meet people of all political sides and ideological beliefs. We listened to Coloradans talk about the challenges they faced as farmers, as independent tour operators, as coal miners. We spent thousands of hours talking one-on-one with voters, meeting neighbors, and sharing our vision of a people-centered democracy. 


Our commitment to listening to Coloradans is why my campaign chose to get my name on the Democratic primary ballot through signed petitions. We dedicated ourselves to collecting 1,500 signatures from each of the seven congressional districts— a total of 10,500 signatures — from registered democrats. The spread of COVID-19 effectively ended signature gathering before the deadline. On March 11th, Gov. Polis issued a State of Emergency demanding that group gatherings be cancelled and encouraging physical distancing, making it harder for campaigns to collect signatures. In response, and out of an abundance of caution, we stopped collecting at events and moved fully to a door-to-door strategy.  This produced far fewer signatures. Despite these challenges, our amazing grassroots campaign collected 13,824 signatures. Unfortunately, the Secretary of State validated only 9,427 signatures. As of April 20, we have yet to secure ballot access.. But we still have an opportunity to challenge the invalid signatures to prove compliance and provide Coloradans with a people-centered candidate

We are not finished. We choose to keep fighting.

We continue this fight because we refuse to give in to the political machine that keeps diverse voices off the ballot. Colorado deserves elected leaders who will always put people first. Sadly, the two candidates who were first to secure their spots on the Democratic primary ballot continue to put their own political careers and corporate interests above the people of Colorado. 

We continue this fight because our values command it. We deserve a society in which equal opportunity is a reality, in which people work one job and earn a living wage, and in which our planet is thriving, not dying. 


We continue this fight because we deserve a Senator who will always put people before profit, before party, and before self. 

We continue this fight because if the winner is inevitable, if the ballot doesn’t represent the diversity of our state, and if people feel they don’t have a true choice, we will continue to disenfranchise our youth, our people of color, our newest citizens. 

Simply put, we fight because we deserve better.

Open Letter to Senator Schumer

Dear Senator Chuck Schumer,

I am writing to encourage you to take a stand for real change for our country. I am Lorena Garcia, and I am challenging Cory Gardner for the U.S. Senate seat he holds in Colorado. As the first candidate to announce a bid for this seat, I want to take a moment to thank you for your efforts and remind you about the importance of having more diverse, young voices in the Senate. 

And to be clear, John Hickenlooper does not represent real change.

After the victories we achieved in 2018, especially here in Colorado, let’s not assume that there’s any single formula for winning an election. Rank-and-file candidates are not our only chance for winning. The most powerful energy today is geared towards electing new people to face the problems of today and the future. While I respect John Hickenlooper, I don’t believe he can equitably represent the people of Colorado the way that I would. 

We need not only new people but also an injection of fresh perspective into the political sphere. Mr. Hickenlooper has not been a brewer or geologist for a very long time. He is a politician. And he’s been a politician for a very long time. That’s not the change Colorado needs. 

As it says in the Constitution, our purpose is to create a more perfect union. We need to combine the lessons of the past with the solutions of today. We need and want the experience of those who have served, but we must have the energy and innovation of new voices and new perspectives to move this country forward. 

Currently, the Senate is entirely comprised of people over 40 years old. Over the last ten years, it has been Millennials and Generation Z to challenge the system that they feel is broken and working against them. By 2020, these two generations will comprise 37% of the electorate, which is why we need to tap into their energy and give them representation in the U.S. Senate. We are, after all, the ones who will bear the consequences in the long run of our choices today. 

When you look at Colorado, it is an excellent example of what is possible for the rest of the country. And one reason the Front Range of the state is booming and growing is because it is a destination for young Americans, Shouldn’t it be represented by a young American that shares their values? 

I want you to know that I respect your leadership in the Senate and your history of campaign success. I admire your commitment to your community and the fact that you visit every county in New York every year. I respect that you have been a lead consensus-builder on some of the toughest issues we currently face: health care, immigration, financial regulation. And you need people like me who will stand with you in the face of opposition to build strong coalitions to further these important policies.

I appreciate the work you are doing to flip the Senate in 2020. You are looking for someone you think can win the U.S. Senate seat here in Colorado and other vulnerable seats across the country. I get it. Like you, I want to put the brakes on a country hurtling towards self-destruction. I want to not only turn it around but help lead it back to a country we can be proud of. We have a real opportunity to make profound and lasting changes to build a better future for us all. 

Sen. Schumer, I am going to bring that energy, drive, and perspective to the Senate in January 2021. That’s what it’s going to take for real change. That’s not John Hickenlooper. And I look forward to seeing you then.

If you want to learn more about me, visit .

Put People First- election 2020,

Lorena Garcia

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