Former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will hold a news conference Saturday in Pueblo to speak out against the attempted recall of Senate President Leroy Garcia.

Salazar, a former attorney general and U.S. senator for Colorado, will be joined by Garcia and Hilary Glasgow, president of the Southern Colorado Labor Council, at the 11 a.m. event at the United Steelworkers Hall at 1414 E. Evans Ave. in Pueblo.

Garcia “has used his voice to keep jobs and the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, protect the Southwest Chief passenger rail line, and secure new buildings for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in Pueblo West and offices for the State Patrol and Colorado Department of Transportation,” said a news release from Our Colorado Way of Life, one of two groups fighting recall efforts against Garcia and two other Democratic lawmakers.

The last recall in Pueblo booted Garcia’s predecessor, Democratic state Sen. Angela Giron, in 2013. It cost Pueblo taxpayers $270,000.

“A recall would put taxpayers on the hook again when they just had an election ten months ago that President Garcia won with over 73% of the vote,” the news release said.

The Pueblo Chieftain said in a May 1 editorial, “Garcia occupies the Senate’s top office, giving Pueblo more political clout in the Legislature than the city has had in years. Garcia has a bully pulpit to advocate for the needs of Southern Colorado that too often have been overlooked by legislators elsewhere in the state. Why would Puebloans want to give that up by ousting him?”

The recall effort is backed by BadforPueblo.com, which cites Garcia’s votes on Senate Bill 181, which reformed oil and gas regulation; Proposition CC, known as House Bill 1257, which would cancel TABOR refunds for the foreseeable future; and for costing taxpayers money on lawsuits filed against Senate Democrats over a March bill reading and a lawsuit from a constituent whom Garcia blocked on Facebook, a suit settled for $25,000.

Our Colorado Way of Life raised $263,206 through Aug. 26 to fight recalls against Garcia and two other Democratic lawmakers, according to the Secretary of State’s Office, and the Committee to Recall Leroy Garcia raised $255 through Aug. 3.

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