Recall Successors Take Office; Dem Senate Majority Now 18-17

Photo by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners

Photo by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners

As the Colorado Springs Gazette's Megan Schrader reports:

Newly elected state Sens. Bernie Herpin and George Rivera were sworn in Thursday after winning the seats of two ousted Democrats, bringing the GOP within a one-vote margin of power…

Herpin, a former Colorado Springs City Councilman, and Rivera, a retired deputy police chief, gave their oaths of office and swore to uphold the Constitution in a ceremony led by Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Bender.

"We are witnessing today the peaceful transfer of responsibility from one elected official to another, a freedom that many people in other nations have never known," Herpin said. "I realize I have much to learn, but I pledge to work hard, serve with honor and never forget the lessons of this summer that this is truly a republic of the people, by the people, for the people and we serve at the pleasure of those who represent us."

Adds AP's Ivan Moreno:

Herpin replaces Sen. John Morse and Rivera replaces Sen. Angela Giron. The defeated Democrats remained firm over their support for the new gun laws. The limits on ammunition magazines and expanding background checks to private and online firearm sales were reactions to mass shootings at a suburban Denver movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school last year.

Here's the statement from outgoing Senate President John Morse:

I leave the legislature with no regrets.

A neighborhood in my district bears the troubling distinction of having the most gun deaths in the entire state.  As a Senator, I served families who expect, at a minimum, we will prevent criminals from getting guns.

Bernie Herpin was used as a pawn in an election where almost 80 percent of voters did not even participate and only 11 percent of the district elected him. Make no mistake about it — he was elected in a myopic recall where he ran on only one issue. Senate District 11 has dynamic needs and is not defined by one issue.

And Sen. Angela Giron:

Pueblo is my home and, for now, I will return to my roots as a citizen advocate fighting for Southern Colorado families, schools and businesses.  Now, more than ever, Americans are demanding bold leadership of our elected officials and I'm very proud of the breadth of work I accomplished in just three years of service in the Senate.

I'm leaving, not on my own terms, but with my integrity intact and with the sure and certain knowledge that Colorado and Pueblo are safer with these modest gun safety laws.

Both Sens. Bernie Herpin and George Rivera face a difficult battle to keep their seats in 2014. In Senate District 11 in Colorado Springs, 2010's very close win for Morse isn't a predictor of future results, as reapportionment made the district blue enough that it should be entirely retakable for Democrats. As for Rivera's Senate District 3, well, he's the first Republican to represent Pueblo in many decades–and he's virtually certain to serve one year and lose unceremoniously in 2014. We've explained since the historic recall elections last month the many reasons why what happened in these two Senate districts cannot be replicated in any general election. Short of a new era of continuous recalls in favorable districts, which we think the voting public would very quickly tire of, this was most likely the high-water mark of the GOP's "comeback," produced by a combination of unique circumstances.

With that said, as of this morning, Herpin and Rivera are your newest Colorado Senators. Welcome aboard.

38 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. n3b says:

    Short of a new era of continuous recalls in favorable districts, which we think the voting public would very quickly tire of

    From what I hear this could be wishful thinking Pols. Remember, one more and Republicans take back the Senate. Who's it going to be?

    Not telling! You'll know soon enough.

    • mamajama55 says:

      Duh, N3B, you all are after Rhonda Fields. That's been telegraphed for months. The recall committee against her has  all of $336.00 on hand, but is still filing reports.

      And if that weren't enough, Mr. Fladen's constant defense (on here)  of poor Miss Marble, victimized by mean old Rhonda Fields should give everyone a pretty good clue.

      I'm sure that we all can't wait for the next round of sexist, racist rants by conservative operatives.

    • OrangeFree says:

      The pendulum swings both ways little man. Go after one more Dem and see one of your own in the same boat. 

      • n3b says:

        I think I might take that dare. Stay tuned!

        • ClubTwitty says:

          Remember–Eggs are People.

        • Hawkeye-X says:

          n3b is a confirmed idiot. Got it.


          n3b: You need Obamacare to take care of your mental illness.. It's covered..



          • mamajama55 says:


            That is what you call an ad hominem attack (to the person). It actually weakens your argument, because it says that  you don't have an argument, and must attack the person instead.

            I disagree with N3B on almost everything he posts – but I'm not going to attack him personally, or say he has a mental illness, or whatever.  Because I don't know that.

            • ElliotFladen says:

              Thank you for you encouraging greater civility. 

            • ClubTwitty says:

              The idiot (I believe it has been demonstrated and I can provide links thus it is descriptive and not normative) has as his icon a red Republican shooting a blue person (with a lunch pail).  There is no possibility of civility here.  Respect should be granted to people until they demonstrate they are unworthy of it (IMO).  But I am a weaker human apparently, and probably would only allow someone to slap one of my checks and not present the other. 

        • OrangeFree says:

          Can't wait to see this. You're only 2-for-4 in recall attempts, no vulnerable Dems left, and you won't have the Libertarians mucking up the works with mail-in ballots if you try again. Go after a metro area Dem and watch how hard you get spanked. Bring it on.

          • Don't be so confident that there are no districts left where Dems are vulnerable. Giron was theoretically not vulnerable, and we still have the same problem with mail-in ballots that we had for the last recalls. Of course, we also have voters who are more aware of the consequences of not voting now, too…

            • OrangeFree says:

              Giron was a special case – she was in a heated primary when she first ran and wasn't exactly loved by the Pueblo Establishment. theoretically she wasn't "vulnerable" but there was certainly blood in the water, just watch how fast that district swings back to the Dems next time 'round.

              Hudak was considered "vulnerable" and that recall effort didn't even get off the ground. As was the guy in southeast Colorado (can't remember the name at the moment). You won't see a Giron-level surprise in other districts.

    • Hawkeye-X says:

      Sorry, n3b. It's already over.

      Take a long look at the morons running the House. And the entire recall was illegal in the first place anyway. Nowak vs Combs was ignored, and there is a Colorado Constitution crisis underway – the only resolution is the removal of the illegal recall participants and a fair and just elections. No more monkeying.

      Watch your precious GOP lose massively starting this November and beyond.

      We don't forget who the teatards are, and you are among one of them.. Again, I give you the choice of leaving this website or get your ass kicked on a daily basis, and it'll not just be me. It'll be many others.

    • gumshoe says:

      When will the Tea Party start recalling some of those "moderate" Republican senators? 

    • nota33 says:

      The american people know you republicans are extremists who are responsible for shutting down the government. In 2014. you republicans are going to lose your seats/

    • Harley says:

      From my veiwpoint–it is going to be very hard for the two new GOP members to even get re-elected, let alone the GOP increase their numbers in the State Senate.

      All one has to do is look at the mess in Washington—how many Republicans are going to survive the anger of voters come 2014? 

  2. mamajama55 says:

    It's a sad day in Pueblo town. We're replacing a dynamic leader with a third rate, barely articulate sherriff.  He will be summarily booted out in 2014, hopefully for Senator Giron or another good candidate.

    For the record one more time, Pols – you've never substantiated any of these rumors that there is 'democratic infighting in Pueblo" which contributed to Giron's defeat.

    Your sources hide behind anonymity, and as I've said before, it carries about as much weight as the Fox News claim that "some people say something".  But that's your schtick, and you're going to keep on beating it, apparently.

    What happened? We Dems couldn't or didn't turn out the vote for a polling place election in an off year. She was elected in 2012 with a 10% margin, with an all mail-ballot election. The endless litigation in courts running up to the recall had one purpose, to deny the Democratic Senators their mail-in ballot edge.  There were other factors, such as the over-emphasis (I think) on the "personhood" issue, and the under-emphasis on the actual gun legislation.

    We Pueblo progressives are going to have to get better at this – I admit that. But continuing to nurture these rumors that "some Pueblo Dems are feuding" has zero news value, and doesn't advance better communication.

    • n3b says:

      Hmm. Did you (or Pols) ever consider that maybe those 30-50% of Dems who voted to recall Giron just value their Second Amendment rights??

      Stop fighting among yourselves and wake up. Giron deserved what she got. Thousands of Pueblo Democrats agreed.

      • Hawkeye-X says:

        Are they a member of a regulated militia or a law enforcement members?

        That is how I *strictly* interpret the 2nd Amendments. You are sounding like you want to give guns to babies, asshole.


        • Hawkeye-X says:

          Or how about *convienently* leaving out facts about the recall – as in no mail ballots was allowed because the whiny Liberterians colluded with the Republicans to complain about the mail ballots, dickwad? Giron and Morse would have easily defeated the recall had the idiotic judge (who'll be thrown out) ruled correctly and ignored the Liberterians, and mail ballots were done.

          I *strongly* suggest that you get the hell out of Colorado if you don't like the new laws. Wyoming is beckoning for inbred morons like yourself.

          • Miss Jane says:

            What's his name is here to disrupt. I would suggest not responding, unless you just want to see how asinine he or she can be.  You could wack him up side the head with a baseball bat, but just like the zombies, there will be another one right behind him. God give us patience.   MJM

        • roccoprahn says:

          The new age gunners that make up the NRA in particular and the country bumpkin types of the RMGO are for the most part heller types that don't actually either understand or care about what the 2nd Amendment was/is for. "Militia" doesn't resonate because older goons pretty much massaged it out of the conversation.

          The new age gunners of the current goon movement only know the bastardized version of the Amendment.

          It makes it easier to try to bridge that awkward combination  of being a radical gun nut but never having served your country. n3b has shown to be of that stripe on many an occasion. Others that actually dodged have posted here, but the majority of goons we see here seem new age. 

      • mamajama55 says:

        N3B, where are you getting your "statistic" that 30-50% of Dems voted to recall Giron?  That wouldn't square with the voter turnout results:  Out of 34,827 votes, 19,451 (~55%) voted for the recall. Turnout: Democrats, 14,633; Republicans, 10,329; and unaffiliated, 6,867.

        Assuming that all Republicans and all unaffiliated voters voted for the recall, which I doubt, that would total 17,196 for the recall, leaving 2255 Democratic votes, or about the number who signed 20% of the 11,000 recall petition votes.  Out of the 19,451 recall votes, only 162 were identifiably Democratic voters who wrote in Anglund's name as a successor candidate.

        So your 30-50% of Democratic voters?  2,200 out of 38,195 registered Democratic voters is  5% of registered Democrats in the district. It's not a Democratic crossover problem – it is a voter turnout problem.

        We did not turn out the people we needed to, and the deliberate efforts by our partisan Secretary of State to discredit the law requiring an all mail in ballot election suppressed the vote effectively.

        Ain't math wonderful?

        • roccoprahn says:

          That's the way to win an argument. Numbers. Facts. Giron will win IF she wants the headache again.

          MJ55, please tell your husband I'm thinking about him every day. He needs VA care because he protected my family. The American way of life. Our culture, and our flag.

          I owe him better than this.

          Please tell him thank you

          • mamajama55 says:

            Thanks, Rocco. I will. He's my ex-husband, but he's a good egg, and we try to look out for him. It's aggravating that the VA is now accumulating claim backlogs at 2,000 per day. Even with the best of intentions, it's hard to see how they get through that to give vets appropriate services.

    • BlueCat says:

      I don't know anything about the district so wouldn't know if rumors of in-fighting are accurate or not but do know that Giron lost by way too much for there to be much point in insisting it was all about mail in ballots. She lost. Without the mail in problem she would have lost by less but that kind of thing simply shaves or adds a few points. It can't account for such a large margin. Denial isn't helpful.

  3. Hawkeye-X says:

    I expect indictments on both Riveria and Herpes. Along with the GOP. 

    They are domestic terrorist organization and should be recognized as such.

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