Judge: No, You Can't Use Brandon Chant as Ballot Name

Colorado congressional candidate Dave Williams argued it was his nickname
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2022 7:05 PM CDT
Updated Apr 28, 2022 9:29 AM CDT
Candidate Wants 'Let's Go Brandon' on the Ballot
Colorado state Rep. Dave Williams chats at an event in Denver on April 5.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Update: A judge in Colorado has ruled that Dave Williams must appear as "Dave Williams" on the ballot, and not, as he hoped, as "Dave 'Let's Go Brandon' Williams." Williams, a GOP state lawmaker, is running for Congress and tried to use the anti-Biden slogan as a nickname on the June ballot. State officials rejected the idea, and now a Denver judge has agreed, per the Washington Post. Williams says he plans to appeal to the state's highest court. Our original story from April 20 follows:

A Colorado school board candidate was allowed to list his name on the ballot last year as "Blake 'No Mandates' Law." So, a new lawsuit says, a congressional candidate should be able to appear on this year's Republican primary ballot as "Dave 'Let's Go Brandon' Williams." A member of Colorado's House, Williams said the anti-President Biden chant has been his nickname since December. The candidate has sued Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, a Democrat, saying she refuses to put his name on the ballot the way he submitted it, the Hill reports. Her office has said Griswold will fight the suit.

In rejecting Williams' request, Griswold said the phrase isn't a nickname—it's a slogan, per Colorado Newsline. Williams argues Colorado law doesn't prohibit its use; nicknames are permitted if they don't include a political party's name. Griswold said that's not a "good faith use" of the statute. Williams lists the phrase as part of his name in signing a letter to voters on his campaign website but not on his General Assembly page. It's included in his display name on his social media sites—though it could have been added recently—but not in his handles. Williams said in a statement that people know him by the nickname and that he's been using it for a while. "It's central to who I am and what this campaign is about," he said in a statement. The primary is June 28. (More Let's Go Brandon stories.)

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