September 10, 2013 Updated: September 11, 2013 at 10:03 am
State senators John Morse and Angela Giron are becoming the first Colorado legislators ever to be recalled from office Tuesday, caught in the vortex of a national gun rights debate.
Morse has conceded defeat. And with about 24,000 votes counted in Pueblo, Sen. Angela Giron is trailing by 60 to 40 percent and also is in danger of being recalled from office. A total of 14,306 voters backed the recall and 9,581 opposed it.
Tears abounded after Morse conceded. Morse said losing his seat was purely symbolic and Democrats still hold a majority in the House and Senate.
The successful recalls would mean that in January, Democrats will hold just an 18-17 margin, which is bound to make it more difficult for them to advance an agenda. Former Colorado Springs City Councilman Bernie Herpin, a Republican and staunch supporter of gun rights, will finish Morse’s term and has said he will run for the seat in November 2014.
If the early returns hold up, Giron’s term would be completed by Republican George Rivera.
“Now the real work begins,” said senator-elect Herpin after Morse conceded. Herpin was at the Republican Party headquarters in Colorado Springs, where the crowd applauded enthusiastically after the concession.
Ron Coleman, a volunteer with the Herpin campaign, said “It’s unbelievable. It’s almost unbelievable that we could beat billionaires.”