DENVER – In the wake of ex-state Senators’ Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) and John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) stunning recalls from office last month, many Democrats remain understandably bitter – observers note the parting jabs during Morse’s farewell speech.
Despite millions of dollars in campaign contributions from out of state — including six figure contributions from gun control advocate and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — both lawmakers were decisively ousted by their constituents.
Now, after suspending their recall effort in May, a grassroots group that sought to remove another controversial left-wing lawmaker, Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Westminster), is revamping their campaign.
“Recall Hudak, too,” was certified by the Secretary of State to gather signatures and needs to collect 18,900 signatures within two months in order to force a Senate District 19 recall.
The district is roughly split into thirds, and Republicans have a slight advantage over Democrats.
Hudak narrowly won the election in 2012 by a razor-thin 580 vote margin against Navy fighter pilot Lang Sias in a district very similar to Morse’s.
Democrats maintain control of the Senate chamber with an 18-17 advantage, but Hudak’s removal from office would tilt that balance — leaving Democratic Governor Hickenlooper to face a a divided government for the remainder of his first term.
In a column published prior to the announcement of the Hudak recall effort, pollster Floyd Ciruli said he believes Republicans and conservatives are in a strong position going forward
“Conservatives are learning how to use social media. Both Pueblo and El Paso counties’ gun-rights activists initiated and organized online,” said Ciruli.
Hudak’s critics say she is a dogmatic legislator who views policy through a very narrow lens, driven by ideology rather than pragmatism.
In March, she dismissed the comments of rape victim during a hearing after the victim argued that having her concealed weapon might have have helped her fight off her attacker.
“I just want to say that, actually, statistics are not on your side even if you had a gun… And chances are that if you had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possible use it against you,” Hudak said.
The victim, Amanda Collins of Fort Collins, went on to say that the the attacker didn’t need a gun, because he already had one against her temple while he raped her.
In a recording of the hearing, Collins is visibly shaken and pained at having to recount the horrific episode, while Hudak appears completely stoic.
The attacker went on to rape and kidnap another victim, while murdering a third.
“I had a hard time falling asleep because I couldn’t stop thinking about what she said to me,” said Collins in response to Hudak’s remarks.
In a statement in March, Hudak said she “didn’t mean to be insensitive.”
Regardless of the recall effort’s success or failure, Hudak is a top target for a GOP pickup given the current political tide.