Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz and Republican lawmakers often don’t see eye to eye on election issues, but they do on one: The state ought to pay the cost of last year’s recall elections in Pueblo and El Paso counties. New state Sens. George Rivera, R-Pueblo, and Bernie Herpin, R-Colorado Springs, have signed onto a letter to Secretary of State Scott Gessler this week that insists the state should cover the $270,000 it cost Pueblo County and the $150,000 it cost El Paso County to conduct the special elections last year. Those recall races ousted Democratic state Sens. Angela Giron, of Pueblo, and John Morse, of Colorado Springs. Rivera and Herpin were elected to replace them.
Ortiz, a Democrat, and El Paso County Clerk Wayne Williams, a Republican, both want the state to reimburse their offices for the expense. Williams also has signed this week’s letter.
Secretary of State Scott Gessler and Ortiz clashed frequently in recent years on election questions. Gessler, a Republican, initially dismissed the clerks’ first request for reimbursement, saying those costs were not a state responsibility.
Ortiz sent a new request this week, citing two Colorado statutes he thinks apply, where the state is obligated to pay for election costs.