Evie Hudak recall, Colorado State Senate (2013)
A Democratic nomination committee chose Rachel Zenzinger, Hudak's former campaign manager, to replace her in the Senate. Zenzinger was sworn in on December 13.
Citizens previously attempted to recall Hudak in 2013. Paperwork was filed with the Colorado Secretary of State by the group Recall Senator Hudak on May 12, 2013, but the campaign was suspended on May 22. Hudak was targeted for recall due to her support of gun control legislation.
The recall ended on November 27 when Hudak publicly announced her resignation. Hudak resigned less than a week before the petition filing deadline. Two days prior to her resignation, organizer Mike McAlpine told a radio host that his group had reached “92 percent” of its target number of signatures for the recall.
By resigning her seat, Hudak avoided the possibility of a Republican-controlled senate. Hudak's seat was filled by a Democratic vacancy committee, who appointed a replacement. Hudak could have waited until up to five days after the Colorado Secretary of State verified petition signatures, but did not want to risk a judge overturning her resignation and forcing the recall to the ballot. Those advising Hudak advised her not to take that risk, given that Morse and Giron each lost multiple court challenges during their own recalls. Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp (D), whose house district overlaps Hudak's senate one, was pegged by some as an early favorite to assume the vacant seat. Rachel Zenzinger, Hudak's former campaign manager, was appointed by the vacancy committee and sworn in on December 13.
A package of three gun control bills, passed in February 2013, is seen as the cause of the recall petition submitted May 12.
- House Bill 13-224 restricts the magazine size allowed or manufactured in the state.
- House Bill 13-228 requires the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to recoup costs related to background checks and creating a legislative appropriation for such costs.
- House Bill 13-229 enforces background checks for the transfer of a firearm between two private individuals.
Second Amendment issue
Language from the petition filed against Hudak by the group Recall Hudak, Too, described her gun control stance as grounds for a recall: “She has infringed upon our constitutional right to keep and bear arms."
Language from the petition filed against Hudak included a number of other complaints about her work as a legislator:
- She has voted to make all citizens less safe and to drive hundreds of jobs from Colorado
- She has limited, denied or otherwise refused to hear testimony from citizens holding views incompatible with her own
- She has rushed legislation on important issues, including billion-dollar spending and tax bills while ignoring the voice of the people
- So cavalier is Senator Hudak toward the legislative process that she suggested a coin flip to decide major tax legislation
- She has offended the sensibilities of men and women by openly insulting women and rape victims
- She has voted for legislation that continues to raise taxes on the hard-working citizens of Colorado and our Constitution; and
- Senator Hudak has turned her back on we [the] citizens of Colorado and our Constitution
On June 9, Hudak issued the following statement:
- “A small group is seeking to undo the will of voters, who re-elected me to the Senate last November. Unable to defeat me then, they are now attempting a political power grab using a low voter turnout, no mail ballot recall election strategy.”
- May 12: Recall paperwork filed with the Colorado Secretary of State.
- May 22: Recall effort suspended.
- October 4: Recall paperwork filed with the Colorado Secretary of State.
- November 27: Hudak resigned from her seat in the Colorado State Senate.
- December 13: Rachel Zenzinger sworn in as Hudak's replacement.
- Colorado General Assembly
- Evie Hudak's campaign website
- Recall Senator Hudak (First Recall Campaign)
- Recall Hudak, Too (Second Recall Campaign)
- kdvr.com, "Hudak will resign seat to end recall threat, hold Democrats’ Senate majority," November 27, 2013
- blogs.denverpost.com, "Effort to recall Democratic state Sen. Evie Hudak renewed," October 7, 2013
- thedenverchannel.com, "Recall efforts underway for lawmakers supporting gun control legislation," May 12, 2013
- denverpost.com, "Colorado Sen. Evie Hudak recall effort suspended," May 22, 2013
- coloradostatesman.com, "Recall proponents take aim at Hudak," October 28, 2013