DENVER — A second Colorado recall drive fueled by a backlash against the state’s newly passed gun-control laws cleared its first hurdle Monday after the petition signatures were deemed sufficient to proceed.
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced that proponents had submitted 12,648 valid signatures, or 1,363 more than the 11,285 signatures needed to force a recall election of Democratic state Sen. Angela Giron.
The recall group, Pueblo Freedom and Rights, submitted a total of 13,466 signatures on its recall petitions about two weeks ago.
“It’s awesome,” said Victor Head, president of Pueblo Freedom of Rights, a plumber who’s leading the recall along with his brother, Adam Head, and Ernest Mascarenas.
Ms. Giron has 15 days to file a protest challenging the petitions. If the protest fails, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper would be responsible for setting an election date, which could fall as early as September or as late the November election.
The Giron effort represents the second Colorado recall to move forward this month. Last week, Mr. Gessler validated signatures in the drive to recall Senate President John Morse, a Colorado Springs Democrat.
Both Democrats were targeted for recall by gun-rights advocates after the state legislature passed three sweeping gun-control laws in the wake of mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut. The laws are scheduled to take effect July 1.
The pro-Giron group, Pueblo United for Angela, has argued that the recall would burden taxpayers with a special election that could cost as much as $250,000.
“A small but vocal group of people are trying to force us all to foot the bill for an expensive taxpayer-funded recall election. All because they don’t agree with Angela’s support of common-sense public safety measures,” says a post on the pro-Giron website.