DENVER–The campaign to recall state Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) submitted thousands of signatures Monday to the Colorado Secretary of State, the second recall drive fueled by the Democratic legislature’s gun-control bills to deliver petitions in as many weeks.
“To Sen. Angela Giron: Can you hear us now?” said a Monday post on the Pueblo Freedom and Rights Facebook page.
Pueblo Freedom and Rights, the local organization running the recall, reported turning in 13,570 signatures, or 20 percent more than the 11,285 required to force a recall election.
That’s cutting it close, considering that elections experts recommend 20 percent more signatures than necessary. The organization reported using volunteer signature-gatherers, not paid professionals, which inevitably makes gaining signatures more difficult.
“PFR is a 100% grassroots effort, and these signatures were gathered by our tireless volunteers,” said the group’s Monday post. “The people of the 3rd Senate District of Colorado have sent a very clear message that they will not stand idle while their rights are stripped away.”
By comparison, the campaign to recall Senate President John Morse submitted June 3 more than double the necessary 7,178 signatures. That recall effort hired a petition company to gather signatures.
Still, organizers of the Giron recall drive said they were confident the petitions would pass muster, saying the signatures were “carefully gathered and highly reliable.”
If the signatures pass muster, Republican George Rivera, a retired Pueblo deputy chief of police, has said that he will challenge her on the recall ballot.
Denver pollster Floyd Ciruli said the recall drive comes as a reminder that passion and intensity often become more important than polls in local political contests.
“It’s a good sign that the [Giron] opponents were able to get enough signatures with just local volunteers,” said Ciruli. “It demonstrates the passion that this issue generates regardless of what the polls say.”
The Secretary of State’s office is now checking the validity of the submitted signatures. An announcement on the Morse recall is expected Friday.
If either Giron or Morse lands on the recall ballot, it would mark the first recall election of a state legislator in Colorado history. National groups on both sides of the gun-rights issue are already weighing in on what is rapidly becoming a referendum on firearms laws.
“Colorado is becoming a backdrop for this issue to play out nationally,” said Ciruli. “And there are national implications. There’s a movement afoot in Washington to bring back some of the gun bills, and they’ll be watching to see what happens here.”