Second recall effort fizzles

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It looks like another effort to recall a Democratic state lawmaker could end up failing.

Organizers who were seeking to recall Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, are suspending their signature-gathering efforts, according to an email obtained by Colorado Community Media on May 22.

Organizers told recall volunteers in the email that they are making a “strategic decision” to suspend their efforts to recall Hudak, so they could focus on the ongoing recall efforts aimed at state Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs, and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo, both of whom are Democrats.

The organizers said in the email that they intend to “restart” their petition efforts against Hudak after they are successful in their recall attempts against Morse and Giron.

However, the clock is ticking on that effort. Organizers only have until June 10 to submit more than 18,000 recall petition signatures to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

“The problem is, they pretty much have poisoned the well at this point,” said Arvada resident Dave Palm, who supports the recall effort against Hudak. Palm said it would be difficult to match the effort’s early energy and then come back to it again, after efforts have been suspended.

Votes on gun-control bills are the primary motivation behind the recall efforts focused on four Democratic legislators: Hudak, Morse, Giron and Rep. Mike McLachlan of Durango. A recall effort against McLachlan died on May 21, after organizers failed to submit enough signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office by that day’s deadline.

Hudak was the sponsor of Senate Bill 197, which places gun restrictions on domestic violence offenders. The bill passed the General Assembly without any Republican support, and is awaiting Gov. John Hickenlooper’s signature.

Hudak also voted for House Bill 1224, which limits the amount of rounds that a high-capacity ammunition magazine can hold, and House Bill 1229, which puts in place universal background checks on gun sales. Hickenlooper has already signed those pieces of legislation.

Hudak also made headlines for what she said to a rape victim during a legislative committee hearing on Senate Bill 197. A Nevada woman testified that she could have defended herself against her attacker had she had a gun. Hudak responded by telling the victim that “… actually, statistics are not on your side, even if you had a gun.”

Hudak later apologized for her comments.

Organizers needed 18,962 petition signatures by June 10 to force a recall election against Hudak, who was first elected to office in Senate District 19 in 2008.

The number of signatures required to force a recall is a percentage of the number of votes cast in the last election of that particular district.

Hudak told Colorado Community Media that she wasn’t surprised the recall effort was suspended.

“It was a single-issue campaign,” she said, referring to organizers’ focus on her gun votes. “When people would hear ‘recall,’ they would ask, ‘Well, what did you do wrong?’ People’s idea of why somebody is recalled would be because of wrongdoing, not because of how you vote.

“I think it validates my support in the community.”

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