GLENWOOD SPRINGS - District 61 State Rep. Kathleen Curry of Gunnison is still awaiting a judge's decision in a lawsuit that will determine whether her name will be on the ballot in her November re-election bid.
Curry, who switched her party affiliation from Democrat to unaffiliated in December 2009, just before the recently completed legislative session, is one of several independent candidates seeking access to the ballot in Colorado.
The candidates claim they didn't have equal access under the law to be considered for the ballot, because the June 2009 deadline for unaffiliated candidates to declare for ballot-access purposes was six months earlier than for those who declare with a recognized political party.
Unlike the other candidates, however, Curry is the incumbent in a rare bid to earn re-election as an independent instead of as the candidate of her former party.
Curry has collected what she believes will be an adequate number of signatures to be placed on the ballot alongside the Republican candidate, Luke Korkowski of Crested Butte, and recently nominated Democratic candidate Roger Wilson of Glenwood Springs.
If the lawsuit ruling goes in her favor, she only needs a declaration from Secretary of State Bernie Buescher that her petition has enough valid signatures to be on the ballot.
If the judge rules against her and the others, the petition is moot and she must run for re-election as a write-in candidate.
Both Korkowski and Wilson also have a June 15 deadline to have their petitions and/or paperwork into the Secretary of State's Office to be on the ballot.
Curry, who appeared at the Roaring Fork Conservancy Float Summit in Glenwood Springs Thursday, said the emergence of a Democratic contender has set the bar higher in her re-election bid, regardless of whether she'll be on the ballot or running as a write-in.
"I've always said my job is to move forward with my message regardless of what the Democrats decide to do," Curry said. "If I'm in write-in mode, it does put the bar even higher for me to get that message across."
Curry has been the representative for District 61, which includes Aspen and Pitkin County, and eastern Garfield County, including Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, for three terms. She ran unopposed the last two elections.
Wilson was confirmed as the Democratic candidate when a caucus of 57 delegates from the district met before the Democratic State Assembly in Denver last month.
Wilson is the chief technical officer with Blue Mountain Arts, a company that publishes cards, books, calendars and offers an extensive selection of online cards.
Korkowski is an attorney in Crested Butte.