It’s not that we didn’t think Democratic candidate for Governor Mike Johnston would do well in the petition process, it’s that we were surprised that he beat fellow gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis, who we’ve heard burns money for fun, in submitting petitions. Yesterday, Johnston submitted 20,000 signatures to get on the ballot for the June 26th primary. Law requires that he have 10,500 valid signatures to make the ballot.

As the Denver Post noted, Johnston secured a “significant tactical advantage in a crowded party primary” by submitting his signatures first. That doesn’t mean he’s a sure thing, however. The law requires 1,500 signatures per Congressional district to make the ballot – valid signatures that is. The disadvantage for those submitting signatures after Johnston is that they cannot submit the same signatures he submits, so he just essentially nullified 20,000 Democratic signatures. Yes, there are many, many more Democrats registered in this state, but being second or third to submit signatures can present a greater challenge.

Johnston doesn’t have to go through the petition process, he could go through the caucus and assembly process, like Cary Kennedy. This is a huge gamble and depends largely on appeal to the grassroots. Fortunately, Kennedy has the teachers unions in her pocket, which should make the caucus process less painful. As for Ginsburg, who also will go the caucus route – who knows?

We suspect Polis and his consultants had some not-so-pleasant conversations last night. Just a guess.