Morse, Giron lose recalls over gun laws support

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
By Paul Martin

Robert Garrison
Sep 11, 2013

DENVER – Two Colorado state lawmakers who backed gun-control measures in the aftermath of the mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut last year have been ousted in recall elections.

With one of two counties completely tallied, 50.96 percent of voters cast ballots to remove state Sen. John Morse, a Democrat, from office and 49.04 percent cast ballots to keep him, according to the Colorado Secretary of State.

Pueblo voters in Democratic Sen. Angela Giron’s district approved her recall, with results coming in late Tuesday. Earlier returns showed voters favored keeping Giron in office but later results showed 56.01 percent of voters favored a recall for Giron while 43.99 percent did not, according to the Colorado Secretary of State.

Morse called the loss of his Senate seat “purely symbolic” during his concession speech in Colorado Springs. He reminded the crowd that Democrats still have control.

Morse was an appealing target for a recall because he narrowly won re-election in 2010. He supported several Democratic-sponsored gun bills this year, including new limits on the size of ammunition magazines and expanding background checks to online and private firearm sales.

Republican Bernie Herpin won 100 percent of the ballots to assume Morse’s seat.

In Giron’s race, voters chose Republican George Rivera, a former Pueblo police officer, to replace her.

Her working-class district favors her party but includes Democrats who are big supporters of the Second Amendment.

Both legislators voted for 15-round limits on ammunition magazines and for expanded background checks on private gun sales.

The heated race pitted gun-control supporters against advocates for gun ownership, and attracted heavy hitters such as the National Rifle Association and former U.S. representative Gabrielle Giffords, severely injured in a 2011 gun massacre in Tucson.

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