Two State Senators Recalled in Historic Recall Election

By: KKTV/AP
By: KKTV/AP

Two Colorado state lawmakers who backed gun control measures in the aftermath of the mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut last year have been ousted in recall elections.

Democratic Senate President John Morse conceded his recall Tuesday night in Colorado Springs. His election was close with 9,094 (51 percent) voting in favor of the recall and 8,751 (49 percent) voting against the recall.

When he conceded the recall Morse told the crowd at the Wyndham Hotel that he plans to stay involved in common sense gun legislation, "This is the result, that's okay, we'll fight another day. Fight! Fight! Fight! They may have won the battle, but they're not going to win the war, because people are dying for real and we need to stop that."

Pueblo voters in Democratic Sen. Angela Giron's district approved her recall, with 19,355 (56 percent) voting in favor of her recall and 15,201 (44 percent) voting against the recall.

Voters chose Republican Bernie Herpin to take Morse's place as the Senate District 11 senator. He's a former Colorado Springs city councilman. He told 11 News, "This clearly shows that when the people who put you into office are no longer pleased with what you're doing they have the right to ask you to change or step down. And apparently step down is what took place today."

In Giron's race, voters chose Republican George Rivera, a former Pueblo police officer, to replace her. "This election has been about holding our elected officials accountable. The voters of Pueblo have sent a strong message. We are the voice of democracy."

The firearms legislation package Giron supported this year included size limits for ammunition magazines and expanded background checks for private and online gun purchases.

Her working-class district favors her party but includes Democrats who are big supporters of the Second Amendment.

Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio said his party is disappointed with the results of the election, "Colorado lost two great legislators today in a symbolic win for a very vocal group of individuals. Sadly, these symbolic wins come at a tremendous cost to the people of Pueblo and Colorado Springs."

The National Rifle Association sent a statement about the recall results, "The people of Colorado Springs and Pueblo sent a clear message to their elected officials that their primary job is to defend our rights and freedoms and that they are accountable to their constituents – not the dollars or social engineering agendas of anti-gun billionaires."

Governor John Hickenlooper also weighed in on the historic vote, "Our democracy gives the people the right to vote for their elected representatives. Tonight, voters in two Senate districts have spoken. We are certainly disappointed by the outcome of the recall elections.

“It’s now time we refocus again on what unites Coloradans -- creating jobs, educating our children, creating a healthier state -- and on finding ways to keep Colorado moving forward,” he said.

To see the results of the election click here.


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