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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Political Party Organization

1-3-106. Control of party controversies

Overview of Statute

Authority of state central committees concerning the method of passing upon and determining controversies.


(1) The state central committee of any political party in this state has full power to pass upon and determine all controversies concerning the regularity of the organization of that party within any congressional, judicial, senatorial, representative, or county commissioner district or within any county and also concerning the right to the use of the party name. The state central committee may make rules governing the method of passing upon and determining controversies as it deems best, unless the rules have been provided by the state convention of the party as provided in subsection (2) of this section. All determinations upon the part of the state central committee shall be final.

(2) From the time the state convention of the party convenes until the time of its final adjournment, the state convention has all the powers given by subsection (1) of this section to the state central committee, but not otherwise. The state convention of the party may also provide rules that shall govern the state central committee in the exercise of the powers conferred upon the committee in subsection (1) of this section.


Source: L. 80: Entire article R&RE, p. 320, § 1, effective January 1, 1981.L. 92: Entire article amended, p. 671, § 3, effective January 1, 1993.

Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 1-14-109 as it existed prior to 1980.

Cross references: For congressional districts, see § 2-1-101.

Annotator’s note. The following annotations include a case decided under former provisions similar to this section.
Political party’s delegate fee for state convention, preclearance requirement for procedural changes bearing on right to vote, see Morse v. Republican Party of Virginia, 1996, 116 S.Ct. 1186, 134 L.Ed.2d 347.
Holding that the power granted to the state central committee of a political party to determine party controversies is constitutional. This grant of power was not in violation of the former provisions concerning district court jurisdiction, now § 9 of art. VI, Colo. Const., on the grounds that it divests the district courts of jurisdiction in such causes and confers it upon another tribunal, as the district courts have no such jurisdiction in the absence of a statute conferring it. People ex rel. Lowry v. Dist. Court, 32 Colo. 15, 74 P. 896 (1903).

Holding that the committee, or the state convention while in session, has exclusive jurisdiction to determine all controversies between factions of the same party as to which is the regular organization and entitled to the party name and to make and file nominations for office under the party name within any district, county, or city of the state. People ex rel. Lowry v. Dist. Court, 32 Colo. 15, 74 P. 896 (1903).

Holding that factional disputes of subordinate divisions of a political party must be referred to the state central committee of that political party. People ex rel. Lowry v. Dist. Court, 32 Colo. 15, 74 P. 896 (1903).

Holding that the courts have no jurisdiction in such factional and internal disputes between members of the same party although the committee may not have passed thereon. People ex rel. Lowry v. Dist. Court, 32 Colo. 15, 74 P. 896 (1903).

Holding that prohibition lies to prevent court from taking further action. Where a district court is proceeding without jurisdiction to determine a factional dispute between members of the same political party, and the parties objecting to such proceeding have no speedy and adequate remedy at law, on petition to supreme court a writ of prohibition will issue to prevent the court from taking any further action in the matter except to dismiss the proceedings. People ex rel. Lowry v. Dist. Court, 32 Colo. 15, 74 P. 896 (1903).
Definition [Political party]

Any group of registered electors who, by petition or assembly, nominate candidates for the official general election ballot. “Political party” includes affiliated party organizations at the state, county, and election district levels, and all such affiliates are considered to be a single entity for the purposes of this article, except as otherwise provided in section 7. Section 2(13) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.

Definition [State]

A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. C.R.S. § 1-8.3-102.

Definition [Section]

A bound compilation of initiative forms approved by the secretary of state, which shall include pages that contain the warning required by section 1-40-110 (1), the ballot title, the abstract required by section 1-40-110 (3), and a copy of the proposed measure; succeeding pages that contain the warning, the ballot title, and ruled lines numbered consecutively for registered electors’ signatures; and a final page that contains the affidavit required by section 1-40-111 (2). Each section shall be consecutively prenumbered by the petitioner prior to circulation.

Definition [Committee]

The committee of signers described in section 1-12-108(2). C.R.S. § 1-12-100.5.


Colorado Cases

Case Name: People ex rel. Lowry v. Dist. Court

Citation: 74 P. 896

Year: 1903

Case PDF: People ex rel. Lowry v. Dist. Court

Case Summary: Holding that trial court did not have jurisdiction over matter in which convention chairman brought an action against another convention to have his convention declared legitimate when two separate conventions were called, both purporting to represent the Republican Party.

Case Name: MacGuire v. Houston

Citation: 717 P.2d 948 (Colo. 1986)

Year: 1986

Case URL:

Case Summary: The district court ruled that the statute restricting the opportunity to serve as an election judge to persons who have affiliated with one of two major political parties did not violate the plaintiff's freedom of speech and association or her right to equal protection of the laws. We affirm the ruling of the district court.  

Case Name: Nichol v. Bair

Citation: 626 P.2d 761 (Colo. 1981)

Year: 1981

Case URL:[...]

Case Summary: The appellate court held that it had no jurisdiction to hear dispute in which captain and co-captain of a captaincy district were removed from their positions, because the state central committee by statute had full power to determine all controversies concerning the organization of the party.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases