Rep. Dave Williams, R-Colorado Springs, speaks on the House floor Dec. 2, 2020. (Faith Miller/Colorado Newsline)
Republican state lawmaker and congressional candidate Dave Williams filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to have a conservative catchphrase included with his name on the primary ballot.
Williams, a state representative who is running in Colorado’s 5th congressional district to unseat incumbent Rep. Doug Lamborn, wants his name to appear as “Dave ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Williams” on the June primary ballot, arguing that Colorado law allows candidates to use widely-used nicknames.
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“Let’s go Brandon” is a euphemism that some Republicans use as code for “F*** Joe Biden,” after a television reporter misunderstood a crowd chant during a NASCAR race last year. It has since turned into a rallying cry for conservative critics of President Joe Biden. Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert wore a dress with the phrase on it during a November 2021 event at Mar-a-Lago with former President Donald Trump.
Williams submitted his request for his ballot designation on April 4, two days after securing the top-line spot for the primary election with 74% of the delegate vote. Secretary of State Jena Griswold then rejected the request to include the nickname, claiming “Let’s Go Brandon” is a slogan and not a nickname.
Now, Williams wants the Denver District Court to compel Griswold to print his purported nickname on the primary ballot. The lawsuit was first reported by 9News’ Marshall Zelinger. Colorado law allows a candidate to use a nickname as long as it doesn’t include the name of a political party.
Williams’ uses “Let’s Go Brandon” in his social media profile display names, but it is unclear if that is a recent change. His actual handles do not include the phrase. He was also referred to with the nickname during three different interviews last week, according to the lawsuit.
“Many already know me by this nickname since it’s been regularly used for sometime now. In fact, it’s central to who I am and what this campaign is about,” Williams said in a statement regarding the lawsuit.
Last year, Griswold allowed a school board candidate in Larimer County to appear as “Blake ‘No Mandates’ Law” on the ballot.
Primary elections are on June 28. Williams is facing Lamborn and Rebecca Keltie on the ballot.
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