NewsCovering Colorado


Recall efforts against Senators Garcia, Lee

Posted at 6:00 PM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 21:23:11-04

COLORADO — In the last few months, several recalls have been filed in Colorado- from town governments such as Nederland to the Governor's office. Coloradans are working to recall elected leaders at every level.

In southern Colorado, Senate President Leroy Garcia and El Paso County Senator Pete Lee are among the elected leaders facing recall elections. They represent Senate districts 3 and 11, the same districts where voters recalled Senators Angela Giron and Senate President John Morse over gun legislation. In some ways, it's deja vu for voters living in parts of Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, and Pueblo County.

Garcia, who won his re-election in November with more than 70 percent of the vote is one of the most high profile recalls in the state.

"I think the thing is what I recognized and what I'm talking to voters at the door about is a lot of concern is that this could potentially cost our county over $280,000," said Garcia, "I'm going to continue to do what I've done in the past, remain focused on delivering results for Pueblo."

Among the priorities for Garcia include addressing the role of Investor Owned Utilities such as Black Hills Energy. An interim committee he chairs is discussing legislation- including a study to look at a community choice model for local governments in Colorado.

"it's hard for me to understand whats going through the minds of these people who want to trigger recalls and cost the taxpayers $280,00 for what policy disagreements are," Garcia said.

The Pueblo Clerk and Recorder says a recall election would cost more than $275,000 to taxpayers.

With both Garcia and Lee's districts facing recalls, critics of the recalls say it's an attempt to gain a Republican majority in the Senate.

"I still adhere to the view that you don't get an electoral mulligan, you don't get a do-over," said Lee. The person filing the petition, Scott David Fisher listed four pieces of legislation as grounds for the recall. Fisher did not respond to News5 requests for comment.

The bills include The National Popular Vote Compact bill, Oil and Gas reform, Comprehensive Human Sexuality, and the Red Flag Law.

"If you look at those bills, virtually anyone who understands or pays attention to politics could've predicted my votes on any of those bills," Lee said.

Those filing the petition against Garcia say his vote on the Oil and Gas bill and the National Popular Vote compact are the two pieces of legislation concerning them the most. They also cite a lawsuit that resulted in a $25,000 settlement over blocking a constituent on Facebook, and the firing of a Senate Secretary ahead of the 2019 session.

"We have three more years and we just didn't feel that another three years was in the best interest," said Susan Carr, one of the organizers for the Garcia recall, "think about your constituents, think about what we want here in Pueblo County, and we voted Proposition 112 we meant that," Carr said.

Carr says the group won't have an idea of how many signatures they've collected for the recall effort until the deadline in October gets closer.

The recall petition for Senator Lee is due next week. The group organizing a recall effort against Governor Jared Polis says they will announce the results of their signature gathering on Friday- the deadline for their petition.