Dave Williams, Colorado Republican, sues to have ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ included on ballot

DENVER — Republican Dave Williams wants his nickname included on the congressional primary ballot, but his nickname isn’t “Dave”: It’s “Let’s Go Brandon.”

The Colorado state legislator filed a lawsuit Monday against Secretary of State Jena Griswold after she rejected his request to be listed on the June 28 GOP primary ballot as “Dave ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Williams.”

She said “Let’s Go Brandon” was a slogan, not a nickname, but Mr. Williams disagrees.

“State law is fairly clear,” Mr. Willliams told The Washington Times. “There are only two requirements: that the nickname be used regularly, and that it not include the name of a political party.”

The 35-year-old Colorado Springs resident said he has used “Let’s Go Brandon” consistently since announcing his candidacy for the seat held by Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn, who has represented the Fifth Congressional District since 2007.

Indeed, “Let’s Go Brandon” appears on his social media accounts. He has also been introduced with the nickname in radio and podcast interviews.

“The other thing I would point out is that state law does not grant the power or the authority to the Secretary of State to determine what is acceptable and not acceptable,” Mr. Williams said.

Working in his favor is recent precedent. Last year, a Thompson School Board candidate was permitted to appear on the ballot under the name “Blake ‘No Mandates’ Law.”

“The Secretary’s ‘slogan’ standard is inconsistent with her former guidance, in which she allowed nicknames that could be construed as a ‘slogan,’” said the filing in Denver District Court.

“Let’s go, Brandon” exploded as a national anti-Biden catchphrase last year after an NBC reporter said on the air that NASCAR fans were chanting the phrase, even though they could be heard shouting, “F—- Joe Biden.”

The court is expected to make a decision shortly. The ballot certification is due April 29.

Challenging entrenched incumbents is typically an uphill climb, but Mr. Williams secured the top line on the GOP congressional ballot after gaining 30% of the delegate vote last week at the state party assembly.

He cited the 2020 Third Congressional District race that saw political newcomer Lauren Boebert defeat Rep. Scott Tipton in the GOP primary. She went on to win the general election.

“Lauren Boebert was challenging Scott Tipton and she won, and I think her victory showed not only Colorado but the country that we can and must do better,” Mr. Williams said. “I’ve been telling people that Lauren Boebert is a great example of how someone who can be bold and take the fight to the Democrats and win.”

Mr. Williams visited the Trump White House twice: He led a 2018 legislative delegation to discuss “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants, and attended an event to honor Hispanic Heritage Month in 2019. His mother is Mexican-American.

A conservative favorite, Mr. Williams has been endorsed by former Rep. Tom Tancredo and columnist Michelle Malkin.

Also running in the Republican primary are business owner Andrew Heaton and Rebecca Keltie, who ran against Mr. Lamborn as a Unity Party candidate in 2020.

Mr. Lamborn won reelection in 2020 with 58% of the vote in the dependably Republican district.

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