Democratic senators John Morse and Angela Giron—who pushed for tougher gun laws in the state this year—lost their recall elections Tuesday night.
In what the Denver Post this morning called “stunning recalls,” State Senate President John Morse and Senator Angela Giron will be replaced with Republicans who petitioned their way onto the recall ballot.
Giron, who represented the heavily Democratic, blue-collar district in Pueblo, lost her recall by fewer than 400 of the roughly 18,000 ballots cast. Morse—whose district included Manitou Springs and a portion of Colorado Springs—lost by about 4,100 votes of the 34,000-plus cast in his area.
The recall elections received national attention that pushed hundreds of thousands of dollars into the race from both sides. Among the notable contributors were the National Rifle Association—which opposed the state’s sweeping gun laws that Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law this year—and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who donated to a group that supported the targeted legislators.
In a statement, Hickenlooper said, “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."
After years of sinking support for their party in Colorado, state Republicans will likely feel emboldened by the latest turn and set their sights more deeply on unseating Hickenlooper during the 2014 elections. The recall “election sends an incredibly important message: Republicans are unified and focused," state GOP chairman Ryan Call told the Post. “This is, I think a great win to shift the momentum back to our team.”
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