Senator loses her seat by 56-44 percent
In a recall election filled with political theater, legal challenges and millions of dollars, Pueblo voters delivered a final dramatic message Tuesday recalling Democratic state Sen. Angela Giron by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent.
Giron could not withstand a push to remove her from office after supporting a number of gun control measures last session.
She was the second senator recalled on Tuesday night following the defeat of John Morse in El Paso County.
“We are certainly disappointed by the outcome of the recall elections,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a statement. “It’s now time we refocus again on what unites Coloradans — creating jobs, educating our children, creating a healthier state — and on finding ways to keep Colorado moving forward.”
Giron said she was perplexed by the result but knew that she had “not one iota of regret” for how she voted in the Legislature.
The unofficial results as of press time were 19,355 votes for the recall and 15,201 against it.
Victor Head, the Pueblo West man who organized the recall effort, thanked his volunteers for their work and said the major message of the election was that big money can’t buy results.
Republican George Rivera earned 19,301 votes as a replacement candidate putting him in office for the remainder of Giron’s term — about a year.
Rivera said it was amazing to watch people come together to make the recall work.
Giron maintained a lead in the early returns which included 700 mail ballots and votes cast at the election center Downtown.
But as more polling centers came in, the tide turned and remained steadily in favor of a recall throughout the night.
Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz said there were numerous election judges reviewing packets from each polling center individually before releasing data cards containing the information on the actual votes cast.
It slowed the counting process during the early hours of the night, but Ortiz said he convinced the judges to release the cards at once and the numbers started rolling in faster.
The election had originally been planned as an all-mail affair. But a legal challenge by another Pueblo Democrat and a Colorado Springs Libertarian showed that the Colorado Constitution prohibited recall elections by mail, forcing the election to go to polling centers.
Voter turnout was roughly 35 percent.
A new election law triggered fears that large sums of people would be able to register and vote in the election even though they had no intention of living in Giron’s district.
Ortiz said that on Election Day, just 12 people from outside of the county registered and voted.
Ortiz’s office has 10 days to make the results final.