Voters ousted two Democratic state lawmakers yesterday in the first ever recall elections of state legislators. The recalls come in the wake of new gun legislation passed earlier this year.
Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs conceded around 9:30, calling the defeat symbolic. Morse was unapologetic over his stance on the new gun control measures, and says it was worth the political risk.
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.With the successful recall, Morse says he’s concerned the move will become a political tactic on both sides. The vote was close, with less than 350 ballots separating the count.
Several miles away, recall supporters gathered at the El Paso County GOP Headquarters. Bernie Herpin supporters waited at the County GOP offices for the results to roll in. Then word came that Sen. Morse had conceded. Herpin thanked his campaign staff, his family and the voters of the District.
You have sent a loud and clear message that we will no longer tolerate elected officials who refused to listen to their constituents and trample on our rights. The people have spoken.
It was a big night for Herpin, who just five months ago lost his seat on the Colorado Springs City Council to a political new-comer.State Senator Angela Giron also lost her recall election in Pueblo, with some 56 percent of the vote going against her. Retired police deputy chief George Rivera will replace Giron in Senate District 3. Nearly 34,000 Puebloans cast ballots.
The crowd of some 200 Giron supporters had thinned out by the time the final results came in around 10:30. A perplexed Giron told the lingering supporters she had no regrets and that they have more work to do.
We can not shed tears about this. What we have to do is turn that into strength and commitment to this community, to this state, to this country. We will win in the end because we’re on the right side, we care, and we’re compassionate and we love people and that always wins out, right?
After Giron’s speech, disappointed volunteers straggled out of the Union Depot building. Meantime about mile away Republican George Rivera and his wife were surrounded by celebrating supporters.
I’m pretty amazed to be honest with you. I never saw myself in this position. I’ve never been a politician. Six months ago, gosh, this would have been a fantasy and so on.
Rivera says it’s important to hold elected officials accountable. He says he plans to apply conservative values and vote by the constitution.