June 02, 2006

Owens Says Holtzman Should Drop Out Of Race

**Update--
Holtzman "supremely confident" he'll be on primary in August:
Holtzman says the Secretary of State erroneously ruled Thursday night that Holtzman did not collect enough valid signatures to qualify for an August primary ballot.

Congressman Bob Beauprez (R-Colorado) has already qualified to be a Republican gubernatorial candidate.

"We have submitted double the signatures needed," Holtzman told 9NEWS in an interview at his Englewood headquarters.

"We have our own internal review process that shows the vast majority of those signatures are legitimate and valid and we believe we have earned our place on the ballot. When the process sees its way through, we believe that fairness and rightness will prevail."

Last Thursday, Holtzman and his supporters turned in roughly 21,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot.

He failed to receive the necessary support at the state party convention last month, requiring him to petition on to the ballot in order to remain a candidate.

However, the Secretary of State ruled thousands of signatures were not valid and he was a total of 743 signatures short of the 10,500 needed.
Gov. Owens tells Holtzman to read the writing on the wall (video):
DENVER - Gov. Bill Owens (R-Colorado) Friday suggested Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman step aside to unify the party heading into the upcoming elections.

Holtzman is a former Cabinet member of Owens' administration.

The Secretary of State ruled Thursday that Holtzman did not collect enough valid signatures to qualify for an August primary ballot.

Congressman Bob Beauprez (R-Colorado) has already qualified to be a Republican gubernatorial candidate. Holtzman has vowed to fight the Secretary of State's decision up to the Colorado Supreme Court if necessary. He failed to receive the necessary support at the state party convention last month, requiring him to petition onto the ballot in order to remain a candidate.

"I think the Secretary of State's decision will be upheld," said Owens at a bill signing ceremony at the State Capitol. "Marc has said at the convention just two weeks ago that I am his friend and mentor and as his friend and mentor, I would suggest it's time to unite the party, respect Colorado law and let's move toward the general election.(Marc) has a long road ahead of him in terms of being on the ballot. I'm assuming Bob Beauprez is the Republican nominee."

Holtzman is expected to hold a news conference Friday afternoon to outline his next steps, but getting out of the race does not appear to be an option. Bob Gould, Holtzman's campaign manager, told 9NEWS they are "supremely confident" that the Secretary of State's decision would be overturned.

If Holtzman is disqualified, there would be no gubernatorial primary. Beauprez would be the lone Republican candidate. Former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter would be the lone Democrat in the race and independent Paul Fiorino would round out the field.

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