Election 2020 Himelspach

Democratic House District 6 candidate Dan Himelspach knocks on a door in Denver on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, while gathering petitions to get on the June 30 primary ballot.

House District 6 Democrat Dan Himelspach, on Friday became the first candidate in Colorado successfully petition onto the June primary ballot by petition, officials at the Secretary of State's Office said.

The Denver attorney is one of six Democrats running in a primary for the seat, which is held by Steven Woodrow, who was appointed by a party vacancy committee in February following then-state Rep. Chris Hansen's appointment to the state Senate.

“Across East and Central Denver, Democrats and pragmatic independents are supporting our grassroots campaign to make state government work for 'we the people' again," Himelspach told Colorado Politics in a statement.

"We are going to continue our work of going door-to-door to listen to the concerns of the people in the district and to strengthen the voice of hardworking Democratic Party voters during the primary process."

It takes 1,000 signatures from fellow party members for state House candidates to make the ballot. Himelspach submitted 1,680 signatures on Feb. 25, and 1,488 were passed muster, election officials said.

Himelspach applied for the vacancy appointment but withdrew days before the election, saying he planned to run in the primary because the high number of Colorado lawmakers who joined the legislature by appointment threatens to "undermine voter participation" in a crucial election year.

Hansen was tapped by a vacancy committee to finish the term of former state Sen. Lois Court, D-Denver, who resigned in January due to health reasons.

Five other Democrats, including Woodrow, have been circulating petitions to get on the primary ballot.

Attorney Steven Paletz on Wednesday turned in petitions bearing what his campaign said was more than 2,000 signatures.

Nathan Adams, Hazel Gibson and Robert Messman are also petitioning.

Petitions are due March 17, though legislation making its way through the General Assembly would extend the deadline by two weeks in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

A voter can only sign one candidate's petition for the same office, so none of the voters whose signatures were collected by Himelspach and ruled valid can be counted toward any of his primary rivals' totals.

Candidates can also land on he June 30 primary ballot by getting support from at least 30% of delegates to the district assembly.

The Republicans haven't fielded a candidate in the heavily Democratic district, which Hansen won in 2018 without opposition.

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