Recalled Dem isn’t running for office, Dems rejoice

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Greg Campbell Contributor
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Ousted former state Sen. Angela Giron will not run for Colorado secretary of state, but the man who successfully led the campaign to have her recalled from office is running for Pueblo County Clerk.

In December, Giron invited several influential Latino Democrats to a meeting to explore another run for office and to present the results of a privately conducted poll that she said shows that she has a chance of winning the nomination.

But several of those at the meeting, according to The Denver Post, were lukewarm about the overture. Several have already endorsed the only Democratic candidate to announce a run for the seat, University of Colorado Regent Joe Neguse. Neguse also has the endorsement of Colorado’s most well known Latino Democrat, former U.S. Sen. and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Democrats were concerned about a potentially divisive primary in a year when Republicans are expected to make a full court press for statewide seats and to take over of the state legislature, according to the Post, which interviewed several of those who attended the meeting.

They were just as concerned, however, that a Giron campaign would make gun control a central issue of the election. Voters ousted Giron and former Senate President John Morse for their support of Colorado’s new gun laws.

Giron confirmed to Denver’s Fox31 on Sunday that she will not run for secretary of state and that she called Neguse to tell him she’s not entering the race.

But in an interesting twist, the man who led the recall campaign announced that he will run for Pueblo County Clerk. Victor Head, a Republican plumber who formed the group Pueblo Freedom and Rights to organize the recall, told The Denver Post that the recall campaign convinced him that the county needed better leadership from its top election official.

“Seeing how apathetic our clerk was during the whole recall process was eye opening,” he said, referring to Pueblo Clerk Gilbert Ortiz, a Democrat.

Head has been praised for running a focused campaign in which only a very low percentage of signatures on the recall petitions were invalidated.

“From the smartphones, we had the secretary of state’s voter registration website locked in and at the ready,” Head told The Denver Post. “In 30 seconds, we were able to punch in a name, ZIP code and birth date and confirm that people signing were actually registered and lived in the district. We even registered some people that wanted to sign.”

Head is expected to formally announce his candidacy on Tuesday.

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