The Colorado secretary of state’s office on Tuesday declared that organizers behind a recall petition against a Colorado lawmaker who supported gun control had enough valid signatures to set up the first potential recall of a state lawmaker in Colorado history. The secretary of state said opponents of Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, gathered more than 10,000 valid signatures. They only needed 7,178 valid signatures, equaling 25 percent of all the votes cast in the previous state Senate election. The recall election would likely in occur in September, though legal challenges could drag the process into October. Lawyers for Morse are challenging the recall effort. They argued that the petition fails to use language defined in the Colorado constitution that “expressly include a demand for the election of a successor to the recalled official,” The Denver Post reported.
“The constitution is clear, just as the courts are clear: no recall petition is valid without this specific language,” Mark Grueskin, an election lawyer representing a Morse constituent who filed the legal challenge Tuesday told The Post.
The campaign to unseat Morse has become a national flashpoint in the gun control debate. Gun-rights activists from across the country have vowed to defeat Democrats who steered through laws that made Colorado the first state outside the East Coast to curb gun rights in the wake of mass shootings at an elementary school in Connecticut and a movie theater in suburban Denver.