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Candidate cannot use 'Let's Go Brandon' as nickname on ballot, judge rules

Republican Colorado State Rep. Dave Williams sued to be allowed to have the nickname printed on the June primary ballot.

DENVER — Republican Colorado State Rep. Dave Williams cannot use "Let's Go Brandon" as a nickname that would appear on the June 28 primary ballot for 5th Congressional District (CD5)

Williams, who represents Colorado Springs, is one of four candidates for CD5. He is trying to unseat eight-term Rep. Doug Lamborn. 

In a Wednesday morning ruling, Denver District Judge Andrew McCallin said that Williams proved proper use of "Let's Go Brandon" as a nickname, but that Democratic Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold used proper authority to disallow it from being used on the ballot.

RELATED: Colorado Congressional candidate sues to put 'Let's Go Brandon' in his name on ballot

"Let's Go Brandon" is code for "F--- Joe Biden." It started at an Oct. 2 NASCAR race where the winning driver, Brandon Brown, was being interviewed after the race. The crowd began chanting "F--- Joe Biden," but the reporter said to him that they were chanting "Let's Go Brandon."

Williams said in a statement that he would appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court, though the state's high court on Friday declined hear the case -- a decision Williams bemoaned ahead of time.

"It's clear that a Democrat appointed judge put his thumb on the scale for a corrupt Democrat Secretary of State. Even after conceding I had a bonafide nickname in accordance with state law, the judge went out of his way to help the SOS violate the statute," his statement on Wednesday said. "If the Colorado Supreme Court doesn't hear this appeal then they are derelict in their duty and lawmakers should remove their salaries or move to term them out of office without delay."

Griswold responded to the Wednesday ruling with a statement, as well.

"The Court's decision today affirms that the content of the ballot is not a place for political gamesmanship. As Secretary of State, I will always protect Colorado voters' right to accessible elections and that includes a ballot that is fair and transparent. My office will continue to uphold Colorado Election law and safeguard voters' right to make their voice heard," said Griswold.

The judge ruled that disallowing it did not affect ballot access for Williams, who will be the first of four candidate names that voters see. Williams qualified for the CD5 Republican primary ballot by receiving more than 30% support at the CD5 assembly. 

Lamborn, along with candidates Rebecca Keltie and Andrew Heaton, qualified for the ballot by collecting signatures. 

Since Williams qualified through the assembly, his name appears first on the ballot. 

Colorado law allows candidates to use a nickname on the ballot if they regularly use it and it does not include any part of a political party's name. 

RELATED: Bill advances to protect Colorado educators from doxxing

In November, a Loveland school board candidate appeared on the ballot as Blake "No Mandates" Law. 

"When the time came up to put my name on the ballot, I said, 'you know what? I’m already going by it, might as well be on the ballot', so I put it on as a nickname," Law told 9NEWS. 

He said he felt passionate about getting rid of extensive mandates in schools.


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