|Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland, April 23, 2016
Former Larimer County GOP Chairman Tom Lucero has petitioned his way onto the Republican
primary ballot for House District 51 (which covers primarily Loveland) after failing to achieve the
minimum number of delegate votes required to appear on the ballot during the Larimer County
Republican Assembly March 19, 2016.
In a year when national media coverage is heavily focused on the nuances of political party
nomination precesses for presidential candidates, Loveland now has two Republican candidates
for House District 51 following an unusual qualification process. According to Republican party
rules, any declared candidate who receives at least 30% of the votes from party delegates during
the county assembly following a caucus can appear on the primary ballot.
Loveland Councilman Hugh McKean received a majority of the delegate votes to stand as the
party's nominee while Lucero missed qualifying by only 1% during the assembly last month.
Lucero, also a former elected Colorado University regent, local radio talk show personality and
longtime political activist organized a petition drive to qualify for the ballot by submitting 1,000
signatures of qualified electors who live in House District 51 due before April 4, 2016.
McKean and Lucero will now complete to appear on the general election ballot in November
against Democrat Jody Shadduck-McNally who was nominated by delegates to the Democrat
County Assembly. Because the registration of House District 51 favors Republicans, most serious
Democrats looking to be elected to public office avoid competing for a seat that has traditionally
been an easy win for Republican candidates.
Gun Raffle Controversy
On March 25, 2016 Lucero posted on his candidate Facebook page,
"Interested in winning a Glock? How about protecting the 2nd Amendment? Sign our petition
and be registered to win."
In coordination with John Burrud, owner of Jensen Arms, Lucero kicked-off a raffle to award a semi-
automatic handgun to anyone who was willing to sign his petition to help him qualify for the
Republican Primary ballot. This unusual technique to gather signatures generated inquiries to
the Colorado's Secretary of State and Colorado Attorney General by both state media organizations
and McKean supporters.
The guidance was clear, the petition was problematic on two counts. First, offering a "quid pro
quo" to sign a petition (since the raffle ticket has value) runs afoul of election laws which prohibit
offering something of value and the raffle itself was likely illegal under state statute which tightly
governs what type of non-profits (mostly those in existence for at least 5 years) may legally sell
"1-31-401. Bribery of petition signers. Any person who offers or, with knowledge of the same,
permits any person to offer for his benefit any bribe or promise of gain to an elector to induce
him to sign any petition or other election paper or any person who accepts any bribe or promise
of gain of any kind in the nature of a bribe as consideration for signing the, whether such bribe
pr promise of gain in the nature of a bribe as consideration for signing the same, whether such
bribe or promise of gain in the nature of a bribe is offered or accepted before or after signing, is
guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in section
Within two days Lucero, likely in reaction to legal counsel advice, offered tickets to anyone
(whether they signed the petition or not) thus changing the contest from a raffle to a drawing. In
addition, this likely resolved the potential violation of election laws by no longer offering
something of value (limited raffle tickets) in exchange for a signature nominating him to appear on
the primary ballot.
Local partisans have argued that the first 143 signatures obtained before the contest was altered
to better comply with Colorado laws, could be thrown out on a technicality thus disqualifying
Lucero's petition. If the qualified signatures from the first 143 gathered were thrown out he
would not qualify for the ballot since his petition would than fall 21 votes short.
However, such a legal challenge would likely be futile as judges are reticent to disenfranchise
voters on a technicality. Councilman Hugh McKean has indicated he will not challenge Lucero's
qualification petition and claims he is not concerned about the race. McKean says some who
signed Lucero's petition also have asked for yard sign placements for McKean. This raises the
reasonable question as to whether people who signed a petition to get a free chance at a handgun
will also cast a vote for Lucero when there is no incentive offered.
|Lucero Petitions Onto Primary Ballot
|On Loveland Issues
From the beginning of his candidacy Lucero
has pushed his opponent, Loveland
Councilman Hugh McKean, into defending his
voting record on Loveland's City Council.
In a March 14, 2016 letter Lucero stated,
"The city council has spent close to $1
million of direct Loveland taxpayer money
on "art space housing" - rent controlled
housing for artists. They built 30 units for
approximately $9 million in additional
taxpayer funds, which amounts to
$300,000 per unit. This money belonged to
the people of Loveland
How is providing subsidized welfare
housing to artists a promotion of the
conservative values we endorse.?
In response, McKean accuses Lucero of
supporting government subsidized housing for
college professors while serving as a CU
While Lucero has picked apart McKean's
support for various subsidies including
Madwire he so far has avoided the single
largest subsidized business in Loveland to
receive consistent McKean support;
No word yet on who McWhinney may suppport
in this race but even the self-described "most
conservative" candidate, Tom
Lucero,appears to be steering clear of using
|Republican House District 51 candidate Tom Lucero