Colorado Democrats unleashed some of their strongest criticism yet of Secretary of State Scott Gessler Wednesday, saying he should be removed from office after he opposed an election-related bill that was later killed by fellow Republicans. “(Gessler) has once again prioritized his partisan agenda above the rights of Coloradans to vote,” Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio said. “If (he) is unwilling to fulfill his duties as a non-partisan election officer, the people of Colorado should consider all avenues necessary to remove him as Secretary of State.” Asked if the Democratic party was referring to a recall election, spokesman Matt Inzeo replied: “I wouldn’t rule it out.”
The Democratic assault came after Gessler testified against a bill he said equated to “radical surgery on elections administration” just months before a presidential election. While the bill had bipartisan support among county clerks and lawmakers, Gessler noted there was not consensus among all clerks. He named four — all Republicans — who opposed the legislation, and he refuted claims that the bill would save money.
“This bill created massive confusion, and many local officials expected big increases in county costs,” Gessler said. “We need to take a step back and come up with broadly-supported, bipartisan solutions.” The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose, and Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, is the result of a flap between Gessler and clerks in Denver and Pueblo last year.