Evie Hudak recall, Colorado State Senate (2013)

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An effort to recall Evie Hudak, a member of the Democratic Party, from her elected position representing District 19 in the Colorado State Senate was launched on October 4, 2013. Supporters of the recall needed to collect 18,900 valid signatures by December 3 to force a recall election. Interest in recalling Hudak was reignited after the successful recalls of Angela Giron and John Morse on September 10, 2013. Hudak was targeted for recall due to her support of gun control legislation passed by the Colorado State Legislature in February 2013. Recall Hudak Too, who filed this petition, was not the same group who targeted Hudak in May 2013. Hudak resigned on November 27 to ensure the seat remained in Democratic hands.[1][2]

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.[3][4]

Resignation

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.[1][2]

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.[1]

Background

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.

The successful recalls of Angela Giron and John Morse on September 10 are seen as the cause of the recall petition submitted October 4.

Supporting arguments

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."[2]

Other issues

Language from the petition filed against Hudak included a number of other complaints about her work as a legislator:[5]

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

Opposition

Hudak's response

On June 9, Hudak issued the following statement:[2]

“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.”

Timeline

See also

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