Colorado Democrat resigns just before recall petition deadline

Just after the successful Colorado recall effort earlier this fall, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz auspiciously reminded voters that “the recall results will do nothing to change the Democratic control of the Colorado House, Senate and Governor’s office. And the commonsense gun laws that were passed by popular vote in Colorado will remain intact.” An excellent point, which is precisely why Coloradans almost immediately began mounting a second campaign aimed at altering that very reality by recalling state Sen. Evie Hudah, another gun-control supporter. Her successful recall and replacement with a more gun-friendly representative would indeed shift the balance of power in the state senate — and with a mere week to go until the recall petition deadline, she’s taken herself out of the game of her own accord. CNN reports:

A Democratic, pro-gun control state senator who faced a potential recall in Colorado abruptly resigned Wednesday, less than a week before the recall petition was due.

Sen. Evie Hudak’s surprise resignation means a Democratic committee can appoint a new state senator in her place. Had she stayed in office and possibly faced a recall election, she would have gone up against a Republican, thus risking the Democrats’ slim one-seat majority in the state Senate.

“In the interest of preserving the progress made over the last year, I am resigning as State Senator for District 19,” she said in a letter to the secretary of the Senate. …

“By resigning, I am protecting these important new laws for the good of Colorado and ensuring that we can continue looking forward,” Hudak said in the letter.

I wouldn’t quite call it a victory for gun-rights supporters in Colorado, though. On the one hand, this person…

…is no longer a state officeholder, but on the other, it looked like Hudak resigned because it looked an awful lot like she would have lost; her resignation will allow state Democrats to fill the seat with someone less controversial and maintain their legislative balance, probably taking the repeal of the state’s new gun laws off the table for now.

“This is not a victory,” said Dave Palm, a registered Democrat and a small business owner who helped organize the grassroots campaign to collect signatures. “It’s not a victory for the voters. It’s not a victory for us.” …

He speculated the state’s Democratic Party pressured her to resign, out of fear of possibly losing the majority in the Senate. Of the 35 seats, Democrats have a narrow 18-17 advantage over Republicans.

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