COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., September 11, 2013 — As the ballots were counted Tuesday night in El Paso and Pueblo Counties, John Morse and Angela Giron were voted out of office in Colorado’s first-ever recalls of state legislators.
In Colorado Springs, John Morse made history by becoming the first state legislator ever to be voted out of office in a recall election. Of 17,858 votes cast, 51% voted yes to the recall. In the vote for successor candidates, Republican Bernie Herpin received 83% of the vote. Another 17% went to write-in candidates. Libertarian Jan Brooks, who did not gather enough signatures to have her name placed on the ballot, ran a write-in campaign. As of this evening, write-in votes were not yet available by candidate.
The Basic Freedom Defense Fund held an election-night rally at the Stargazer’s Theater in Colorado Springs, where Morse’s concession was announced at 9:20pm. The Clerk and Recorder’s office tabulated the votes from the first four days of voting shortly after the polls closed at 7pm. Morse was running behind 52-47 at that point. A get-out-the-vote effort today narrowed the lead a bit, but not enough. Recall organizers cheered the news of the win; many were tired from eight months of effort.
Tim Knight, one of three people who started recall efforts, said that the recall was not about guns—it was about John Morse not listening to constituents. The anti-gun bills were just the last straw. Knight said that for him the issue of being ignored was brought home in March when Morse engineered the testimony on the bills so that opponents were almost completely silenced.
In Pueblo, despite numerous irregularities in the elections process, Angela Giron was recalled by a decisive 56-44% margin. Over 34,000 votes were cast in the heavily-Democrat district. Republican George Rivera received 88% of the successor vote. Establishment Republicans had advised against the recall saying it was impossible. As late as Monday, the state party felt the election would be lost. Yet despite their pessimism, Giron’s defeat was even more decisive than Morse’s.
Reports from Pueblo say that she did not even attend her own election night rally. Not only were citizens disenchanted with the two but also fellow senators and even lobbyists say privately that they were arrogant and hard to work with.
As he watched the election returns, Tim Knight said that the reported $3.2 million that Michael Bloomberg and others spent on defending Morse and Giron was what made the elections as close as they were. In his remarks tonight, Knight said that freedom “is a thing hard won and easily lost.”
He called out his friend Maria, who was in the audience, and who experienced the loss of freedom in Cuba. While we say we are fighting for freedom for our children, she says, we need to do it for ourselves so that we can pass it on to our children.
“I think we took her advice to heart,” he concluded.
Because of all the hard work of citizen volunteers—most of whom had never been involved in politics before—tonight in Colorado we are all a little more free.
At The Voice of Liberty, we seek to advance the principles of liberty, because tyranny never sleeps.
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