Two Democratic lawmakers in Colorado, including the president of the state Senate, were recalled Tuesday in elections brought about by their support for tougher gun control laws.
According to unofficial results, voters in Colorado Springs favored recalling state Sen. John Morse, the body’s president, by 51 percent to 49 percent. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, state Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo was defeated in her recall election, 56 percent to 44 percent.
The Colorado Republican Party called the vote results “a loud and clear message to out-of-touch Democrats across the nation” in a statement released late Tuesday. Colorado’s Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, said he was “disappointed by the outcome of the recall elections” before calling on state residents to “refocus again on what unites Coloradans — creating jobs, educating our children, creating a healthier state — and on finding ways to keep Colorado moving forward.”
“We as the Democratic Party will continue to fight,” Morse told supporters in Colorado Springs as he conceded the race. Republican Bernie Herpin, a former Colorado Springs city councilman, will replace him. Giron will be replaced by Republican George Rivera, a former deputy police chief in Pueblo.
“We will win in the end because we are on the right side,” Giron said in her concession speech.
The votes marked the first time in Colorado history that a state lawmaker faced a recall effort and the biggest backlash in states that passed tougher gun-control laws following two mass shootings last year – at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater and a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.
Both state legislators voted for 15-round limits on ammunition magazines and for expanded background checks on private gun sales.
The legislation passed Colorado’s Democrat-led legislature without any Republican support and was signed into law by Hickenlooper, who had initially rejected calls for stronger gun control laws.