Facing a potential recall effort for her vote to strengthen Colorado’s gun laws, State Senator Evie Hudak (D-Westminster) took one for the team and resigned today, eliminating the possibility of a recall election that could have shifted Senate control to the Republicans in Colorado. Democrats hold a precarious 18-17 vote edge in the Colorado State Senate. A recall election could have cost the Democrats Hudak’s seat by shifting the Senate to an 18-17 Republican majority. In a statement released today, Hudak stated, ”In the interest of preserving the progress made over the last year, I am resigning as State Senator for District 19, effective immediately.” Her resignation means that a Democratic committee will select her replacement.
In September, pro-gun groups with NRA backing led successful recall efforts to defeat State Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and State Senator Angela Giron (D-Pueblo). Their success in September suggested that Hudak also stood a strong chance of losing. Hudak defended her vote stating that ”most Coloradans believe that the convenience of high-capacity ammunition magazines is less important than saving lives in tragedies like Sandy Hook, Aurora and Columbine. That’s why I sponsored SB 13-197, a bill that takes guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. … By resigning, I am protecting these important new laws.” Hudak has repeatedly expressed her concern that the recall effort is an attempt to reverse the results of the 2012 election and put Republicans back in control of the State Senate prior to the 2014 elections. By resigning, Hudak has stolen the GOP’s thunder and prevented the recall effort from being used as a sneaky way to tip the balance of power in the Colorado State Senate back to the Republicans.