Readers will remember that Republicans led by Michael Fields of the conservative advocacy group Advance Colorado immediately announced a recall campaign against state Sen. Kevin Priola following Priola’s defection in August to the Democratic Party, obtaining a deadline to return signatures coinciding with Election Day before Denver District Court Judge Marie Avery Moses ruled that recallistas had to wait until Priola began representing the new boundaries of his Senate district in January. This ruling was highly adverse to the recall campaign, effectively negating the effort and money expended up to that time on the petition drive.
But as the Denver Post’s Seth Klamann reports, another even more adverse event was on the horizon:
A renewed attempt to recall party-switching state Sen. Kevin Priola is less likely to unfold early next year in the wake of Colorado Republicans’ electoral losses last week, an organizer said Thursday.
Officials behind the first failed attempt to recall Priola have yet to make a final decision on whether to resurrect the effort next year, said Michael Fields, of the conservative group Advance Colorado. But the expense of another campaign and the scale of the Democrats’ control of the Senate — with or without Priola — makes a second try “more unlikely” going forward, he said. [Pols emphasis]
Priola, a Henderson lawmaker, was the target of a recall campaign shortly after he announced in August that he was switching his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. At the time, officials from both parties believed control of the state Senate could swing Republican, and Priola’s switch complicated that path and provided a lifeline to Democrats wary of what appeared to be a looming red-wave election…
As it turns out, the best thing Democrats could do to defend Sen. Priola was to make his party switch irrelevant to determining the Senate majority by burying the Republican Party in this year’s elections. Having expanded their Senate majority by several seats, Democrats left Republicans with no material benefit to recalling Sen. Priola–and after their humiliating losses, the partisan momentum Republicans felt they had initially to pursue this recall has completely dissipated.
The experience of the multiple and increasingly pathetic recall attempts against Gov. Jared Polis throughout his first four years in office has taught us that where there’s an opportunity for grift, somebody is likely to make the attempt. Fortunately, it looks like the smart Republican money is backing away from plunging right into yet another recall season on the heels of another failed election season.
That would be the first good decision Colorado Republicans have made in some time.