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Sep 11, 2013 9:20 PM by Andy Koen

Professor expects recall to ripple through midterms

COLORADO SPRINGS - Republicans gained two seats in the Colorado State Senate as a result of Tuesday's recall elections and a local political science professor thinks the party could gain even more power in the 2014 mid-terms.

"I think the immediate effects of the recall will be in the next legislative election and gubernatorial election," said Professor Josh Dunn of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Democrats will hold an 18-17 majority in the State Senate once Bernie Herpin and George Rivera are sworn-in. They have a more comfortable 38-27 majority in the State House.

However, quick look at house district maps makes Tuesday's results more troubling for Democrats if voters who participated in the recalls stay consistent in 2014.

Much of Pete Lee's State House District 18 and Tony Exum's State House District 17 overlap with John Morse's State Senate District 11.

In Pueblo County, Leroy Garcia's House District 46 and Edward Vigil's House District 62 overlap with Giron's Senate District 3.

"I don't think there's any doubt that they saw what happened last and recognize that it indicates that their seats aren't safe," Dunn said.

He added that the 12 percent margin of victory in the Giron recall is even more surprising given that 47 percent of registered voters in Pueblo County are Democrats compared to just 23 percent who are Republicans.

"The Pueblo result has to be very terrifying for them," Dunn said. "I think that you're going to have a lot of Democrats trying to run back to the center for this next legislative election."

Dunn believes it was the way in which the new gun control laws were passed that motivated voters in both counties to recall Morse and Giron. He says the limited debate and near exclusion of public input stirred up anger among the electorate.

"Political participation is a very cathartic thing for voters and the fact that they basically cut off debate about it, you had so many people who wanted to at least speak their mind and the weren't allowed to," Dunn explained. "I think that for a lot of voters that's what really made them angry."

He expects there to be future recalls and recall attempts, but he doesn't expect them to be very frequent.

"Given the time and the cost, it probably will not be all that wide-spread," said Dunn. "There's a reason it had not been used before.
State Senate President Pro Tempore Lucia Guzman of Denver will assume John Morse's leadership post during the interim session.

Some shuffling of committee seats is expected now that Democrats have a narrower majority in that chamber.



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