FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—May 1, 2020, Salt Lake City, Utah—Republican gubernatorial candidate Jan Garbett has filed an appeal of Judge Shelby’s ruling to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals today.
“We are appealing because Judge Shelby’s remedy didn’t fix the unconstitutional burden he identified in Utah’s signature laws during coronavirus,” said Jan Garbett. “Judge Shelby required our campaign to collect roughly 70% of the normal requirement—which in the best of times is already one of the most difficult standards in the country. Every other court in the United States that has dealt with this issue has lowered the number of signatures required in light of COVID-19 by far greater percentages. One state lowered this to 10% of normal, and no other state went above 50%. And remember, these are states where my signature total would already qualify me to be on the ballot.”
“We believe that the court’s requirement that we collect over 19,000 signatures created an impossible burden and predetermined she could not be on the ballot,” explained Dr. Joe Jarvis, Jan’s Lieutenant Governor candidate. “No other gubernatorial campaign gathered that many valid signatures in that time frame, so it’s no surprise that we weren’t able to either. A remedy that gives no realistic chance of success is no remedy at all.”
Other gubernatorial candidates are beginning to agree. Jeff Burningham recently filed his own lawsuitagainst the State of Utah, asking for a similarly lower signature threshold, and former Governor Jon Huntsman recently tweeted his opinion that Burningham should be included on the primary ballot because the signature threshold is too high. By either of these standards, Jan Garbett should be included on the Republican primary ballot as well. These statements prove that Jan’s lawsuit is not merely about furthering her campaign, but about ensuring the right to ballot access for all candidates, current and future, against the entrenched interests of Utah’s political establishment.
If this appeal is successful, Jan Garbett will be the first female Republican candidate for Utah Governor to ever appear on the state’s primary ballot.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Daniel Friend, Press Secretary