Jun 3, 2013 8:49 PM by Jacqui Heinrich,

Morse recall campaign gets 16,000 signatures

State history was made on Monday: the Secretary of State confirms it's the first time enough signatures have been gathered to recall a state legislator.

In light of recent gun control legislation recall organizers working to remove Senate President John Morse brought in more than double the number of signatures needed to put a recall on the ballot; they gathered 16,000 and only needed 7,200. Since the margin of error is about 35%, Secretary of State Scott Gessler says it's likely the recall will go through.

Gessler says it took about 13,000 votes to get Morse elected; now, the group trying to remove him from office is celebrating the 16,000 signatures they got petitioning for a recall. "When nanny-state Bloomberg ideas come to Colorado, Coloradoans are gonna stand up and say no," Recall organizer Rob Harris said.

The Secretary of State's Office has 15 days to review those signatures and make sure they're from registered voters in Senate District 11. "We say make sure you do a 20% bump, so in this situation, this one might work," Richard Coolidge of the Secretary of State's Office told News 5.

Harris says he has no doubts they'll make the cut. "I ran this campaign, the NRA did not run this campaign. The majority of our funding came from in-state money, the out-of-state money came from the plumber in Arizona, the farmer in Idaho," Harris said.

The Morse camp has their doubts; they say paid petitioners funded by outside interest groups were unscrupulous in the signature gathering, and the Secretary of State's validation process will likely show a number of them are invalid. "They got 16,000 signatures but we know from watching their Facebook pages and everything else that a lot of those signatures came from outside the district. There's no question you can find 16,000 people that disagree with me in Colorado, there is a question if you can find that many in my district," Senate President John Morse said at a press conference Monday afternoon.

Referring to gun related tragedies like the Aurora theater shooting and the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, Morse says even if the recall goes through he will stand by his decision to push gun control legislation. "The Census track with the most gun deaths in the state of Colorado over the last ten years is in my district," Morse said, telling reporters he believes he did represent the will of his constituents during the legislative session. Of the recall effort, Morse said, "They have nothing to celebrate yet. Even if they do get the signatures keep in mind there will be an election and I've won close elections in this community before and I'll be committed to winning a close election again."

If the recall does go through, candidates from both parties will start petitioning to get themselves on the ballot to go up against Morse. Morse says he has no intention to resign at present. If the recall goes through, the earliest voters could see an election would be September or early October 2013.



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