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Second Colorado Democrat faces recall over gun control

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Greg Campbell Contributor
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Update: Sen. Angela Giron challenges the petitions. See below.

Colorado state  senator Angela Giron is now the second legislator in state history to officially face a recall after the secretary of state’s office certified that her opponents had submitted enough valid signatures to schedule an election.

Last week, the office also certified petitions to oust Senate President John Morse.

Both Democrats were targeted for their support of Colorado’s new gun control laws, which include bans on high capacity magazines and requirements for universal background checks. Those laws go into effect on Monday.

One difference, though, is the level of organization displayed by the group seeking Giron’s ouster. Pueblo Freedom and Rights submitted just barely more signatures than required to trigger a recall election, a thin margin considering that as many as 30 percent of such signatures are routinely invalidated for one reason or another.

Earlier in June, the group’s spokesman told The Daily Caller News Foundation that he was confident they would have fewer than 10 percent rejected because of the rigorous training signature gatherers had gone through.

In fact, barely 6 percent were rejected.

By comparison, the group seeking to recall Morse had 37 percent of their signatures rejected. In the end, both efforts had more than enough valid signatures to proceed.

Morse, at least, is not going quietly. He has challenged the wording of the petitions in an effort to have all the signatures tossed out, noting that they don’t specifically call for an election to remove him from office, a requirement of the state constitution.

A hearing on the complaint is scheduled for Thursday.

Meanwhile, Morse’s supporters have moved onto other tactics, claiming on their website that voters were duped into signing the petitions. The Colorado Observer reports that some people who signed the petitions are being called by Morse supporters and asked to remove their signatures.

“After trying to convince me to change my mind about signing the John Morse recall petition, I asked if they were being paid by the Morse campaign,” one petition signer said. “They refused to answer the question and hung up.”

Giron’s campaign spokesman did not immediately reply to a phone call and email from The Daily Caller News Foundation seeking comment.

Both lawmakers can choose to run in the recall election or resign and have their seats filled by a Democratic vacancy committee. When asked at a press conference on June 10 if she could say that she would “unequivocally” not resign, Giron replied, “Yeah, I can say that.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper has 15 days to set a date for her recall election if she does not challenge the secretary of state’s certification.

Update: Pueblo United for Angela, the committee opposing Giron’s recall, announced Tuesday afternoon that a challenge had been filed with the secretary of state over the wording of the petitions.

The group argues that all the signatures certified as valid should be thrown out because the petitions didn’t specifically say that an election should be held to replace the recalled official, as required by the state constitution, the same exact argument being made by supporters of John Morse. In fact, the same lawyer is representing both complainants.

“The challenge would nullify the purported sufficiency of the signatures and result in a judicial declaration that no election can be held to recall Senator Giron,” according to a press release from the group.

A hearing on Morse’s complaint is scheduled for Thursday.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.