Call her an old romantic, but one candidate vying to replace Sen. John Morse in a potential recall election has written at least nine sexy novels published under a pen name in recent years.
Jaxine Bubis, 57, grew up in Colorado Springs, raised her children, worked as an EMT in the mountains and on-the-side wrote steamy romance novels under the name Jaxine Daniels, according to an online video of Bubis talking about her novels and her life.
"Why romance?" Bubis begins the video. "Just because I really like a happy ending."
Her novels - with names like Beantown Heat, A Safe Place to Land and Black Ice - surfaced in e-mails critical of Bubis this week as leaders in the Republican Party prepare to decide which candidate will get their backing for the recall election.
Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, will likely face a recall election in coming months after petition gatherers, peeved by his support of gun legislation, collected enough signatures to take his ouster to voters.
On the ballot will also appear the names of candidates who hope to replace Morse.
Bubis will face off against former City Council member Bernie Herpin on July 9 in a Republican quasi-primary. Bubis agreed to the selection process before the negative e-mails about her part-time job started circulating.
Bubis issued a statement Tuesday after being contacted by The Gazette.
"Ten years ago, as a stay-at-home mother who was helping to contribute to support our family, I took creative writing classes," Bubis said. "One project that resulted from those creative writing classes was a fiction romance novel. The novel had very limited publication (less than 50 copies) and I took it off the market as soon (as) I contractually could, which was around eight years ago."
Bubis declined to comment on the other novels she has written, but said she will continue to be a candidate in the race.
"How it will affect the nomination process is up to the electors to decide, but this is one of the benefits of having a process in place," said Daniel Cole, spokesman for the El Paso County Republican Party. "We can air these issues within the party before fielding a candidate to replace Morse."
The selection process will have leaders who are elected at the Republican Caucus meeting every year from the 31 precincts in Morse's Senate District 11 vote next week whether Bubis or Herpin should represent the party. Also voting will be the district's chairman, vice-chairman and secretary. Because of some vacancies and overlap in titles a total of 53 people will be able to vote.
"These sorts of malicious attacks are exactly what turns most people off to politics today," Bubis said in her statement.
A supporter of Morse's from the district has filed a legal challenge to the petition and a decision is expected Wednesday from the Secretary of State's Office whether the petition should be thrown out because it doesn't meet constitutional requirements.
No Democrats have filed to get their names on the ballot yet, although two have filed to replace Morse in 2014. Candidate Mike Maday said he will not enter the recall election race.
"Sen. Morse will be term-limited in 2014 and I hope he will still be our senator in 2014," Maday said. "I think this recall is just kind of a stunt by out-of-state interest groups to make a name for themselves and state their position."
But the Republican Party is taking it as a serious chance to gain another seat in the Senate which is split currently with 20 Democrats and 15 Republicans. If Morse loses his seat to a Republican the 19-16 split would leave a two-vote swing able to kill or pass legislation.
Also facing a potential recall election - awaiting a ruling on an almost identical challenge to the petitions - is Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo.
Contact Megan Schrader