Thorne files for Colorado attorney general as an independent after failing to vote for GOP | Election 2022
The Texas attorney who unsuccessfully tried to run for Colorado attorney general as a Republican last month filed paperwork on Friday to run for office as an independent.
Stanley Thorne, the former conservative radio host who represented Coloradans in a lawsuit claiming Governor Jared Polis lacked the power to impose shutdown orders during the pandemic, originally won a spot in April on the ballot June’s Republican primary for attorney general, but was removed from the post after party officials determined he did not have the legal qualifications to run for the job.
The move left John Kellner, the 18th Judicial District Attorney, who also voted in the state’s GOP assembly, as the presumptive GOP nominee for the state’s top legal office.
Democratic Attorney General Phil Weiser is seeking re-election to a second term.
To run in the general election as an unaffiliated candidate, Thorne will need to collect 8,000 valid signatures from Colorado voters, including 1,000 from each of the state’s eight congressional districts. Completed petitions must be delivered to the Secretary of State by July 14.
A group of Thorne supporters threw the already contentious state GOP assembly in Colorado Springs into a drunk on April 9 when they nominated Thorne to the ground.
“He can’t be moved, he can’t be bought,” said activist Sherronna Bishop, former campaign manager for U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert, in a speech naming Thorne. “He has already fought for parents across the country, protecting their rights to care for their children as they see fit.”
Rich Wyatt, the former star of a popular firearms reality show who served 18 months in federal prison on tax charges, proclaimed from the scene that Thorne had been a “lawyer for 40 years” and claimed that it had “been endorsed” by Tina Peters, the Mesa County Clerk, candidate for Secretary of State, and Ron Hanks, the Fremont County State Legislator, candidate for the U.S. Senate. Peters and Hanks won the frontline designation at the meeting.
Hanks later told conservative talk show host George Brauchler, Kellner’s predecessor as district attorney and the Republicans’ 2018 nominee for attorney general, that he told Thorne it seemed like a good idea to introduce himself, but that he wouldn’t have said if he had officially approved of it. It was Brauchler who first raised questions about Thorne’s qualifications at the assembly.
In his acceptance speech, Thorne said he first considered running for attorney general 36 hours before being nominated and pledged to ‘prosecute crimes committed by agents of the government’ who violated the constitutional rights of Coloradans during the pandemic.
Thorne and Arapahoe County attorney Randy Corporon, one of Colorado’s two elected members of the Republican National Committee, represented a group of Coloradans who sued Polis in 2020, challenging Democratic governor’s executive orders issued during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19. The Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear the suit, which was filed by state Representative Patrick Neville, a Republican from Castle Rock, and conservative author Michelle Malkin from Monument.
While Thorne received 42.5% of the delegate vote to Kellner’s 57.5% — both passing the 30% threshold required to make the primary ballot — state GOP Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown said said days later that Thorne would not appear on the Republican primary ballot because he didn’t meet the additional qualifications for the position because he was not registered as a Republican and was not not a member of the Colorado State Bar, as required by the state constitution.
“There initially appeared to be a second-place candidate on the attorney general‘s ballot. However, he was disqualified,” Burton Brown said in an email to state Republicans. “Any votes cast for him must be disqualified, so these delegates’ votes were stolen with false information.”
Voter records obtained by Colorado Politics show Thorne registered as unaffiliated on August 17, 2016, and changed his registration to Republican on April 9.
Thorne, who has practiced law in Texas since 1982, said in a document filed with the office of the Colorado secretary of state that he had “filed a petition for reciprocal admission” to the Colorado bar and that he expected to be a Colorado licensed attorney by the end of June. .
However, Thorne’s candidacy could come up against another obstacle, since Colorado law requires that unaffiliated general election candidates be registered unaffiliated “no later than the first business day of January of the election year”, and he changed his registration to Republican months after that date.
Thorne did not immediately respond to phone calls and an email from Colorado Politics Friday morning. Neither made a campaign spokesperson for Kellner.
A Colorado GOP spokesperson brushed off word that Thorne was making another ballot attempt.
“We are not concerned about third-party or unaffiliated applicants, all of whom have less than 1% identity,” State Party Executive Director Joe Jackson said in a text message. “Republicans are united behind our candidate, John Kellner – and he will defeat failed Boulder liberal Phil Weiser in November.
According the american family justice project, an organization founded by Thorne last summer, Thorne holds a law degree from Baylor University School of Law and is an expert in energy law and constitutional law. He hosted the “Dr. Thorne Traveling Emporium and Medicine Show” for a year on KLZ 560 AM in Denver.
Editor’s Note: This developing story has been updated.