Several Republicans Could be Top Recall Targets

Supporters of a recall of Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak have just a few more days (Dec. 1) to finish gathering petition signatures in hopes of getting a recall measure placed in the ballot in Arvada. But if you thought that might be the end of the recall season…think again.

Sen. Bill Cadman

Can Sen. Bill Cadman (R) survive until 2016?

As we noted earlier, Republican Sen. Vicki Marble is apparently hearing rumors about a potential recall attempt in her district. Sen. Marble's district is among those with the largest number of signatures required to trigger a recall (19,550), which is based on the total number of votes cast in the last state senate race. For comparison's sake, Sen. Hudak's district also has a high signature threshold, with 18,962 signatures required.

Democrats have decried the recall process as a subversion of Democracy and an abuse of the intent of the process. Recalls are supposed to be about clear malfeasance — they were never meant to be implemented by an interest group that doesn't like one or two specific votes. It's not just a clever line to say that we already have a recall process every two years.

Yet as much as Democrats may be disgusted by the recall efforts, there is a growing sentiment that they can no longer afford to take the high ground if control of the Senate is in danger of being flipped. Recalls are a difficult process — there's a reason that the Sept. 10 recalls were the first in state history — but the campaigns against Democratic Senator John Morse and Angela Giron were made somewhat easier by lower signature requirements: just 7,178 in Morse's SD-11, and 11,285 in Giron's SD-3.

There are several Republican Senators, however, who are more than vulnerable to a potential recall. Some could be particularly interesting, such as the case of Sen. Owen Hill; it would be curious to see a recall effort take place against Hill while he tries to simultaneously win the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate

Here at Colorado Pols, we'd rather see the whole recall nonsense come to an end altogether; as we said earlier, this is not how a recall is supposed to be implemented. But if Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, the Tea Party, and other angry right-wingers insist on promoting recalls, Democrats probably can't sit on the sidelines any longer.

Take a look after the jump to see the signature requirements to trigger a recall in Senate districts held by Republicans:


Kent Lambert 9 10,579 2014
Kevin Grantham 2 11,121 2014
Greg Brophy 1 11,178 Termed in 2014
Scott Renfroe 13 11,512 Termed in 2014
Bill Cadman 12 12,760 2016
Steve King 7 13,926 2014
Ellen Roberts 6 14,283 2014
Owen Hill 10 15,044 2016
Larry Crowder 35 15,799 2016
Randy Baumgardner 8 16,739 2016
Kevin Lundberg 15 16,794 2014
Ted Harvey 30 17,224 Termed in 2014
David Balmer 27 19,342 2016
Vicki Marble 23 19,550 2016
Mark Scheffel 4 19,645 Termed in 2016

Republicans were successful in recalling Morse and Giron, but there's a good chance that they will lose at least one of those seats (SD-3) back to the Democrats in the 2014 election, limiting the amount of time they could take advantage of the party switch. Conversely, there are several at-risk Republican senators who aren't up for re-election until 2016, and if Democrats were successful in those recall attempts then they would hold control of the seat for two years.

21 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. nota33 says:

    I am down for this. Let's give these conservative extremists a taste of their own medicine. People were very angry when Marble made some insensitive racist comments.

  2. MichaelBowman says:

    Why aren't Rivera and Herpin on this list?  I know they have to carry their own water next November, but if the bar for recall [10% of the last election] is applicable to "recalling the recallers], then it looks like all you'd have to gather to recall Rivera is 3,450 and 1,770 for Herpin.  Do the statutory timelines provide enough time to oust them before the end of the 2014 session? Have either announced their intent to re-run in 2014?

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      answer: no. They must be in office 6 mos prior. By the time signatures were gathered and election held the session would be over

      • MichaelBowman says:

        Thx…and I see I was using the wrong percentage.  You'd need 8,639 to launch a recall on Rivera – and 4,461 to launch one on Herpin.  And it looks like April 3 is the magic date for both of them given the six-month rule. 

    • mamajama55 says:

      Rivera has a 2014 campaign committee with 3300 in it.

      Herpin has a committee, but no money in it. Probably, that's significant.

      • nota33 says:

        I am hearing rumors that Hudak is going to resign if she is recalled. Has anyone else heard anything about this? I also heard that the recall people got 18,000 signatures today. Whether this is true, I don't know, but they said they are trying to get 27,000 signatures. This leads me to believe that they believe that a lot of signatures mght be thrown out.

        • Gray in Mountains says:

          Though I always want to contest until the end, in this instance, if they get the signatures I think it would be very considerate of Evie to resign and allow the central committee to appoint her replacement. Must keep the majority

          • nota33 says:

            I agree. Although I have no problem with Evie, if she is recalled, she should resign. Keeping the majority is more important than any one senator.

            • ElliotFladen says:

              I haven't looked into this…when is her deadline to resign to prevent the recall going forward?

              • gaf says:

                It's a bit complicated because of the petition deadline. If the recall target doesn't resign within 5 days after certification of sufficiency and the time for protest has passed, then the process of setting the election starts. However, if the person resigns before the deadline for filing successor candidate petitons "in accordance with section 1-12-117," the election is cancelled.  [C.R.S. 1-12-110]

                That last part ("in accordance with section 1-12-117") could be where it gets interesting. That is the petition deadline of "ten calendar days" after the election date is set that is in conflict with the Constitution and led to the past recall issues. But since the regisnation part specifically refers to 1-12-117, does that prevail? Seems unlikely it would come to that, but there in another potential lawsuit there!

    • gaf says:

      For a member of the general assembly, the time period is "anytime after the fifth day following the convening and organizing of the general assembly following the election." The six months requirement applies to all other offices. [C.R.S. 1-12-102 (1)]

  3. nota33 says:

    We need to recall all republicans.

  4. doremi says:

    Recall petitioners need to have valid signatures of number equal to or exceeding 1/4 of all votes cast in elected official's last election.

  5. nota33 says:

    We need to focus on winning those two seats back in 2014. Pueblo and Morse's district both lean democratic now and we need to get a law passed that would allow mail in ballots for recall elections.

    • Not Dame Edna says:

      It was my understanding that the reason that mail in ballots weren't available was because of a ruling that forced the allowance of letting Libertarians petition on. They didn't make it on and by the time that happened it was decided that there was not enough time to print mail ballots. Probably a Republican trick.

      So, if this is the case, then mail in ballots are allowed in recalls but probably needs some work in the area of petitioning on and deadlines for printing ballots. 

      There is also the possibility that my memory is failing me and I am completely wrong.

  6. mamajama55 says:

    Mail in ballots are allowed, and in fact mandated. Our polling in the Pueblo recall indicated that we would win in an all mail ballot election, and that is what we were working towards until a month before the actual election.

    However……if there is a third party candidate in a recall election (and Marilyn Marks, who worked with one of the recallhudaktoo organizers on a Mesa County election previously wil make sure that there is always a third party candidate petitioning on at the last minute)…then the deadlines to get the mail ballots printed, mailed, and out sitting on voter's tables won't work with the waiting period for the petitions to get done. The Colorado Constitution is very generous to people wanting to petition onto the ballot.

    So basically we're screwed until there is a Colorado constitutional amendment. This is another reason why I'm not down for Dems initiating recalls. In a three way race, if majority votes for recall, then a candidate with 31% of the vote – a screwball, in fact – could win an election.

  7. gaf says:

    Mail ballots certainly would have helped Morse. However, as a general strategy, recall elections held as special elections are always going to be lower turnout than regular elections. Mail ballot recalls conducted as special elections will have lower turnout than regular elections (which from now on will be mail ballot). Democratic turnout is especially lower on special elections than regular elections. Recalls will always favor Republicans until Democrats get off their butts and vote in them.

    • OrangeFree says:

      Mail ballots change the dynamic of any election, and can easily be used to counter the lower turn out phenomenon of special/recall elections. 

      By that I mean, with a good field campaign and something like VAN, it's a heck of a lot easier to hit every Democrat in a district and say "Fill out your ballot, and I can turn it in for you" than it is to say "Please make sure you hassle yourself enough to go to a polling place and vote in person." That's why mail-in ballots are key. 

      • gaf says:

        I agree mail ballots change the dynamic of any election. However, special elections are always going to be a bigger challenge for Democrats than general elections, and perhaps bigger for coordinated elections as well. It is simply harder to gear up a good field campaign "to support the good guys" for a single issue than for a multiple candidate and issue election. The single issue/hate/attack side will always have the passion advantage on a recall.

        It is also why I think Dem attempts to recall R's are probably not productive. Dems just would not have the passion of hate/attack/anaililate that fueled the field campaign that the gun crazys had against Morse and Giron.

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