Politics: Hudak recall effort revived
State Sen. Evie Hudak is blasting a revived recall effort against her, calling the attempt to oust her from the Legislature over her votes on gun bills as "nothing more than a partisan political power grab."
The Westminster Democrat is once again being targeted in a recall effort that could have significant ramifications for the balance of power in the Colorado Senate. A previous effort to oust Hudak stalled earlier this year.
In a recent interview with Colorado Community Media, Hudak leveled criticism against the group that is relaunching the recall effort, which is calling itself "Recall Hudak Too."
"I'm disappointed that these extreme interest groups feel the need to waste our taxpayer dollars on another costly, manipulative recall process," she said. "This just isn't the way that our government should function."
The effort to oust Hudak comes on the heels of two successful recall efforts from last month, where both Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo, both Democrats, lost their seats in the Senate.
Hudak initially was targeted as part of an earlier recall effort, but petition signature gathering was put on hold in May so that advocacy groups could focus their efforts on Morse and Giron.
Now, organizers behind "Recall Hudak Too" have filed paperwork with the Secretary of State's Office to resume the recall effort.
In order for a special recall election to take place, the group has until Dec. 3 to collect about 18,900 valid signatures of voters in Hudak's Senate District 19, which includes Westminster and Arvada.
Hudak initially won her seat in 2008 with 51 percent of the vote. In 2012, she defeated Republican challenger Lang Sias by a margin of 342 votes, in a successful re-election where a Libertarian candidate took about 6.5 percent of the votes.
In an emailed statement, Mike McAlpine, a spokesman for the group, said that Hudak "has dishonored her sworn oath and commitment" as a senator over a number of positions she has taken while in office, including those having to do with gun-control legislation.
Earlier this year, Hudak voted for gun bills that are now law, which put in place universal background checks on gun sales and banned high-capacity ammunition magazines that exceed 15 rounds.
Hudak also sponsored a bill that is now law that places greater restrictions on the ability of domestic violence offenders to possess guns.
Those gun bills were backed by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly and received zero votes from Republicans.
"She has infringed upon our constitutional right to keep and bear arms," McAlipine's email reads.
Petition gatherers sporting yellow-colored "Recall Hudak" shirts have
recently been seen circulating petitions in Arvada and Westminster.
When asked what it's like to see people publicly trying to fire her from her job, Hudak said, "I guess I've gotten used to it."
Hudak also said that she sees the recall effort as an obvious attempt to shift the balance of power in the Colorado Senate. Right now, Democrats hold an 18-17 majority in the Legislature's upper chamber. That number could flip with a Hudak ouster.
"This is nothing more than a partisan political power grab and has nothing to do with what I've done as a state senator," she said. "I've listen to my constituents, and I've been actively engaged in my community."
Right now, Hudak said she is not concerned about the possibility of losing her seat.
"I'm just proud of the work that I've done, what I've accomplished," Hudak said. "I'm focused on the 2014 legislative session, and I'll just go forward.
"As long as I'm a senator I'm going to continue to be a senator."