One of the big political stories of 2019 in Colorado centered around the completely disastrous attempts by right-wing Republicans to “recall” Democratic lawmakers from office. Angry Facebook groups morphed into angry recall “organizations” that did a decent job of stealing people’s money but had more trouble accomplishing their stated goals; various recall groups tried and failed six separate times to gather enough petition signatures to force a recall election for Democratic members of the State House, State Senate, and even Gov. Jared Polis.
The punctuation mark to this nonsense came in October, when organizers attempting to oust Senate President Leroy Garcia turned in FOUR petition signatures to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. Not four complete petitions, mind you, but four signatures in total. Needless to say, that was quite a bit short of the 13,506 that were required to force a recall election.
At this point, threatening to recall a lawmaker in Colorado is kinda like promising to use a magical spell to turn someone into a newt. But apparently “failing miserably” is no reason for angry Republicans on social media to think a new recall effort won’t work this time — especially if these Republicans target one of their own.
As the right-wing website Colorado Citizen Press explains:
Sen. Kevin Priola (?-Henderson) can’t seem to get it together, and many in the Republican party base are getting fed up with his liberal voting record. So angry that a “Recall Priola” Facebook Group popped up recently. [Pols emphasis]
the Party faithful has “put up” with Priola for years because of his strong work ethic on the campaign trail, knocking on tens of thousands of doors and winning in tough swing-districts. Not that support is becoming lesser every day [SIC: We assume they meant to write “now” instead of “not” and something more grammatically-correct than “lesser.”]
With his voting record all over the board, Republicans are starting to get fed up. For example, Priola came out in support of creating government-funded heroin injection centers last year. This year, he is working to ban several types of tobacco products.
We aren’t sure what his play is, but banning nicotine products while legalizing the public use of heroin looks hypocritical.
Colorado Citizen Press — believed to be directly connected to House Minority Leader Patrick Neville — notes later that Sen. Kevin Priola “is continually threatening to switch parties.” We’d say that irony is not the strong suit of whoever wrote this blog post, but it is clear that the ultimate goal here is to get rid of Priola somehow:
Of course, a recall would be a tad crazy when they could pop up a primary challenger for a fraction of the cost. Given Priola’s voting record, it wouldn’t be challenging to convince the delegates to vote the challenger onto the ballot…
…This begs the question, will those angry activists standup a credible primary opponent before the filing deadline?
The Adams County Republican Party will gather for its county assembly on March 21, which means the anti-Priola club has less than two weeks to come up with a potential Primary opponent.
For Republicans also hoping to re-take majority control in the State Senate in 2020, this presents a bit of a problem. It was Priola, after all, who saved Republicans from losing their majority in 2016; Senate District 25 is again expected to be among the most competitive State Senate races in 2020, and there’s not much of a path forward if the GOP fails to keep Priola’s seat.
This would not be the first time that Colorado Republicans have tried to shank Priola. We haven’t heard substantial rumors that Priola might really be interested in switching political parties, but with friends like these…