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.

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