Beeson hands in DA candidate petition | AspenTimes.com

Beeson hands in DA candidate petition

Donna Gray
Glenwood Springs correspondent

Only one of two prospective candidates turned in 1,000 valid signatures by Tuesday’s deadline to get on the ballot for the district attorney recall election.

Martin Beeson handed in 1,250 signatures to the Colorado secretary of state’s office in Denver on Tuesday morning. Fellow Republican Chip McCrory did not collect enough signatures. He fell short by about 200, he said.

The election to recall District Attorney Colleen Truden is set for Dec. 13.

Beeson, a former deputy prosecutor under Truden, resigned shortly after she took office in January. McCrory is a defense attorney and former prosecutor under district attorneys Milt Blakey and Mac Myers. Candidates had to collect 1,000 signatures of registered Republicans to qualify as a candidate should Truden be voted out.

On Tuesday, Beeson and McCrory also requested paperwork to be write-in candidates on the ballot, secretary of state spokeswoman Dana Williams said. If Beeson does not have 1,000 valid signatures to get his name on the ballot, he, too, could be a write-in candidate.

But there is a downside to being a write-in, Williams said.

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“At the polling places election officials will have a list of qualified write-in candidates, but their names will not appear on the ballot,” Williams said.

Truden, who took office Jan. 11, has been criticized for her management style and questioned about the honesty of statements made to Pitkin County commissioners about the departure of seven deputy district attorneys and five administrative staff, who resigned soon after she took office.

Williams said her office hopes to have the signatures verified in three days.

“The law doesn’t give us a specific time, but we wanted to get them turned around as soon as possible,” she said. Since only Beeson turned in signatures, “it might go even quicker.”

Gov. Bill Owens set the recall election for Dec. 13.

Williams said the office is under the gun to finish quickly, “so we’re not holding up the [county] clerks, and they can get the ballots printed and they’re not waiting on us.”

The recall signatures came in just as the office was in the middle of a regular election day, making extra work for election officials.

Beeson said he’s comfortable with the signatures he and the volunteers who worked for him collected. Beeson and McCrory had 15 days to collect the petition signatures.

“If we don’t make it, it won’t be for want of effort,” he said. “I’m cautiously optimistic we’ll have enough.”

McCrory said more time would have helped his effort.

“My folks tried, but it was hard. Sort of like me, they had other things to do, like work,” McCrory said. “I’m proud of them.”

Beeson is not currently working.

Voters have never removed a district attorney in Colorado.

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