Pro Gun Control Lawmakers Ousted in Colorado's First Recall Election
In Colorado's first-ever recall election, two state senators who supported stricter gun control laws were voted out of office on Tuesday. Senate President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giro were replaced by two Republicans, shrinking the Democratic majority in the state's senate to one seat.
Morse was recalled by 51 percent of voters in the Republican stronghold of Colorado Springs, according to unofficial returns. He was replaced by Bernie Herpin, a former city councilman. Morse, a former police chief in a Colorado Springs suburb, was first elected to the Senate in 2006.
Some 56 percent of voters favored Giron's recall in a strong Democratic district in Pueblo. George Rivera, a former police officer, replaced her.
The gun laws, passed last winter amidst widespread protest from Republicans and guns rights advocates, required background checks for private gun sales and limited the capacity of ammunition magazines to 15 rounds. Gun activists gathered enough signatures to force a recall vote, which drew huge donations from advocate groups on both sides. Roughly $3 million was raised to defend Morse and Giron, including a $350,000 donation by Mayor Bloomberg. The NRA reportedly matched Bloomberg's donation, giving over $300,000 to pro-recall efforts.
In his concession speech, Morse called his defeat “purely symbolic.”
“We made Colorado safer from gun violence,” he told the New York Times. “If it cost me my political career, that’s a small price to pay.”
[Image of Sen. Morse via AP]
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