Senate President John Morse remains adamant he will charge forward into what could be the first recall election of a state lawmaker in Colorado history, though organizers in support of the Colorado Springs lawmaker are weighing all their options — including the possibility of Morse stepping down — before any election date is set. “Decisions are happening nonstop in a recall,” said Kjersten Forseth, a consultant to A Whole Lot of People for John Morse, who notes that resignation is an option, though it’s not a focus at this point. “As a team, we’re always re-evaluating where we are on a daily basis. It’s not something you can map out like in a normal campaign.” Organizers vying to oust Morse because of his leadership in the passage of tougher gun-control laws submitted 16,199 signatures to the secretary of state’s office last week, and of that total, 7,178 are needed to spark a recall election. Verification of those signatures could come as early as this week, and Morse backers note that they plan to contest every signature submitted if enough are verified to move forward with a recall election.
In 2010, Morse won the seat by less than 350 votes in an El Paso County District that is divided almost evenly among Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters.
That year he received 13,866 votes, while then-GOP candidate Owen Hill received 13,526 and a Libertarian candidate raked in 1,320.
If at least 13,000 signatures are verified, Morse would have an uphill battle in a recall election.
Katy Atkinson, a political analyst, said there’s validity in the notion of Morse possibly stepping aside.
“What it’s going to take for him (Morse) to fight this is going to require every source the state party has to offer and help nationally,” Atkinson said. “Sure, it would be a blow to resign, but the risks of him losing would be an even bigger embarrassment and blow.”