In a stunning announcement Sunday, state Rep. Rochelle Galindo, the Greeley Democrat facing recall, said she is resigning immediately due to unspecified allegations against her.
“The allegations against me are false,” wrote Galindo, a former member of the Greeley City Council elected in November to represent Weld County’s House District 50.
“That said,” she continued, “they will make our fight against the pending recall effort untenable. I will not put my constituents through what will surely be a recall campaign based on political smear tactics and false allegations. Instead, I will resign my seat as the elected representative of House District 50, effective immediately.”
Galindo tweeted on Sunday afternoon that it had been “the honor of my life” to serve House District 50.
“I have served my community to the best of my ability” and given a voice to the underrepresented.
Speaker of the House KC Becker of Boulder confirmed Galindo’s resignation and referred questions about the allegations to Galindo, who didn’t answer calls.
In a statement Sunday, Becker and House Majority Leader Alec Garnett of Denver said, “Today Rep. Galindo submitted a letter of resignation. We agree with Rep. Galindo’s decision to step down at this time and allow someone else to serve the people of House District 50.”
Her resignation ahead of a possible recall election means a Democratic vacancy committee will name Galindo’s replacement.
Organizers behind the recall campaign said Sunday that they had collected nearly enough signatures to force a recall election had Galindo not resigned.
“We have over 5,000 verified signatures already,” said Jefferson Thomas, the Republican consultant running the recall effort.
“Whatever she’s referring to — she’s not stupid, she’s seen the signature-gatherers out there.”
Galindo’s critics had until June 3 to gather 5,696 valid signatures — 25 percent of the votes cast in the last election for her office.
Galindo came under fire early for her support of Senate Bill 181, the oil and gas regulatory measure. She sponsored measures in the 2019 session to repeal prohibitions that banned local governments from setting minimum wages, reauthorization of a state resiliency office, which was set up after the 2013 floods and was due to end in June; and a measure to create a transition office for those in coal mining.
Galindo won election in the Democratic-leaning district by a 6.7 percentage point margin over Republican Michael Thuener. That win came after she defeated former state Rep. Jim Riesberg in the June primary.
Organizers got the go-ahead to start circulating recall petitions April 4.
The petition charges Galindo with “fail(ing) to understand legislation negatively impacting her community and constituents,” pointing to her position on “oil and gas legislation.”
Senate Bill 181 overhauling how the state regulates the oil and gas industry, was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis.