In case you missed Morgan Carroll’s briefing on recalls in Colorado’s state legislature at our April meeting, here’s a breakdown.
Colorado Republicans have launched their “do-over” recall elections, targeting CO State Representative Rochelle Galindo of Greeley, Senate President Leroy Garcia of Pueblo, Representative Bri Buentello of Pueblo, Otero, and Fremont counties, Senator Jeff Bridges of Greenwood Village, and Representative Meg Froelich of Englewood. They are also launching a recall effort against Republican Sheriff Tony Spurlock, citing his support of the newly passed ERPO bill. Spurlock serves as Sheriff in Douglas County where his deputy Zach Parrish was killed in an ambush. Approved recall petitions will be posted on the Secretary of State’s website: https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/recallPetitions.html
The first recall efforts were launched against Rochelle Galindo, who resigned from office on May 12. A Democratic vacancy committee will name her replacement.
Tom Sullivan of District 37 is the second democratic lawmaker to be targeted for recall. Sullivan, a U.S. Air Force veteran whose son, Alex, was murdered in the Aurora theater shooting, campaigned on enacting reasonable gun laws, making this recall campaign particularly egregious.
Recalls of this nature aren’t typically the way government is run. Most states don’t have a recall provision: Only 18 do, 32 states do not. Colorado has one of the lowest bars for recalls: most states require Cause, for example corruption, bribery, malfeasance, high crimes and misdemeanors. Colorado does not require Cause nor any evidence of wrongdoing.
Colorado’s new GOP chairman, Ken Buck, has announced up to 20 recalls. Oil and Gas as well as gun groups like extremist Rocky Mountain Gun Owners are pouring money into these efforts. Each recall requires a petition approval by the Secretary of State, gathering signatures of registered voters that represent 25% of the votes cast; for Sullivan this means a total of 10,035 signatures. Signature gathering must be completed within 60 days of the recall petition approval. Once signatures are verified, the Governor must schedule a recall election in 30-60 days.
It’s hard to frame this as more than a cynical attempt to redo the 2018 elections. Republicans successfully used these same tactics to recall two democratic senators in 2013. Their strategy: take advantage of the likely low rates of voter turnout in an off-year election and fire up their base to oust the progressive candidates the majority of Coloradans supported in the 2018.
This strategy fails if we show up at the polls.
Here’s the good news: Democrats are launching an anti-recall effort that is central and organized. Democratic Women of Boulder County has committed to raising $10,000 and to writing 10,000 postcards. We need your help!
Want to join a postcard party? Join a local group here.
Want to volunteer? Sign up here.
Click here to donate to DWBC’s anti-recall efforts: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/influencers