Hudak resigns seat to end recall threat, hold Democrats’ Senate majority

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DENVER -- State Sen. Evie Hudak has decided to resign rather than risk facing a recall election that, should she lose, would flip control of the senate to Republicans, FOX31 Denver was first to report Wednesday.

Later Wednesday morning, Hudak made her resignation letter public.

"In the interest of preserving the progress made over the last year, I am resigning as State Senator for District 19, effective immediately," Hudak wrote.

Hudak, D-Westminster, could have been the third Democratic lawmaker to face a recall over a package of gun control bills they helped pass earlier this year.

Sens. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, both decided to fight recall elections against them, but were ousted in September in favor of Republican replacements.

Knowing that Morse and Giron lost every legal challenge in the run-up to those elections, Hudak and Democrats generally appear to recognize the likelihood of the third recall's success -- as long as the group of gun rights activists behind the recall effort got enough signatures to put it on the ballot.

Hudak's decision, finalized Tuesday after days of conversations with top Democrats including Senate President Morgan Carroll, is a gamble of sorts.

Like a poker player folding early, she's decided to give up her job before recall organizers showed their hand and turned in any signatures, even knowing that more than 19,000 valid signatures -- more than double the amount needed to get Morse's recall on the ballot -- are needed to force a special recall election.

Signatures, which are being collected by volunteers and paid petition circulators, were due on Dec. 3.

"Most Coloradans believe that the convenience of high-capacity ammunition magazines is less important than saving lives in tragedies like Sandy Hook, Aurora and Columbine," Hudak wrote in her resignation letter. "That's why I sponsored SB 13-197, a bill that takes guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. ... By resigning, I am protecting these important new laws."

RELATED: Read Senator Hudak's resignation letter in its entirety

Earlier this week, recall organizer Mike McAlpine told radio host Mike Rosen that the group was "92 percent" to its goal in terms of the number of signatures gathered.

Instead of going all-in and risking a Republican takeover of the senate in the early months of a midterm election year, Hudak is playing it safe.

By resigning before the signatures are turned in, she assures that a Democratic vacancy committee will appoint her replacement, keeping the seat -- and the senate -- in the party's hands, at least through November, when her successor will be forced to win reelection.

State law says that an office-holder can resign up to five days after the Secretary of State deems signatures sufficient to force a recall election, but it's possible a judge could disagree and allow an election to go forward.

Given their track record in court, Democrats decided not to take that risk.

One possible replacement for Hudak is state Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp, D-Arvada, whose House district overlaps with Hudak's senate seat. But, the first-term lawmaker could opt to stay in her House seat, where next year's reelection fight looks to be significantly easier.

Financial reports disclosed earlier this week show that the Democracy Defense Fund, a group formed to defend Hudak, has raised $120,000 in contributions, mostly from organized labor including the National Education Association.

235 comments

  • andy

    Low recall elections. hahaah Don’t you worry, we plan on throwing the republican scum out in 2014. A good conservative is one that dies of cancer!

  • andy

    fastgirl, 2014 can’t come fast enough. We are going to kick the republican terrorists out of office. I hope your loved ones die of cancer!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Fastgirl

      I love it that the world can see the Democratic parties true colors. They are not only the party of liars, betrayers but haters too. Obama proved this by using the hateful derogatory term “tea bagger” in a hand written letter to a citizen of this country. The man who received it is auctioning it off so the whole world will get to see what a hater Obama is.

    • Fastgirl

      It appears that the only racist and bigot here is you. Clean up your own act maybe then you can point your finger elsewhere.

  • Mike

    Forget party Democrat, Republican, or other…along with “andy” are many other examples of pathetic idealism…hate, racism, scum? Wishing cancer, terminal cancer, etc…on anyone is so pathetic, ignorant and immature that it transcends even the most warped imagination. Truly Andy, I hope this kind of karma doesn’t come your way, even you don’t deserve it. But then, I am sure you don’t comprehend.

  • SloCatch

    Mike, I appreciate your comment on the dysfunctional. It is very reflective of the leadership of the two major parties and where their priorities are and have repeatedly been for the past four decades. Unfortunately this dysfunction is what America has elected to rule the country. Sad, very sad. It is truly time for a 3rd party with equal authority. With that added to the equation, these present party leaders would not have the luxury to expend such unnecessary energy, time and money on disputes. Among the three entities, one would emerge as a logical authority on any issue presented to them. That peer pressure would quickly sober up this senseless bickering and finally progress would be made for this once great country. The power of thinking independently is urgently needed and much welcomed. As an Independent thinker you are entitled to vote for any candidate or opinion rather than what the present party affiliation mandates. From what I have read, the independent voter has surpassed the Republican Party and is very quickly overcoming the Democrat party. The common man is much more intelligent and making much more informed decisions thanks to the new tools available. There is still hope and time for a real change. I along with many others expect far more than what is presently presented by the leadership of the two major parties. Kind of like expecting Andy to grow up.

  • Floyd Martinez

    The Republicans should be careful for what they wish for. Do the pin heads think the Democratic leadership will support someone less progressive tha Evie Hudak? The Jeffco reactionaries never saw this move
    coming.

    • Fastgirl

      If the Republicans can force Evie and the two other Dems who were recalled out they can remove her successor. They may have to wait until the election in 2014 but it can be done.

  • SloCatch

    Yep, it sounds like the adjenda for the Republican party is already established and approved by their self preserving members for 2014….more infighting and little to none problem solving and absolutly no progressive leadership. Very predictable.

    • Fastgirl

      You under estimate the anger of the majority of the American people at Obama and the Dems. Big mistake. Will that hold until the 2014 elections? Time will tell.

  • SloCatch

    I don’t underestamte it at all. I recognize that the direction given by both parties is anger, not problem solving.

  • andy

    the republican terrorists don’t understand how much the American people are angry with them for shutting down the government. We the people will take the right wing trash out in 2014!!!!!!!!

  • SloCatch

    Andy, isn’t it Obama who is at the helm of this country? Was he not capable of keeping his responsibilities? Isn’t he 100% responsible by job description to manage our Gov. or do you feel that letting the Gov. to be shut down is a form of good managment? Are you just putting the blame on the other leadership who thought it would be a grand idea to shut down the Gov.?

  • fast45

    Hudak is out … some new clone is in. No big deal. So much for her words, “I’ll fight to the end.” If she’d have listened to her district, we wouldn’t have any recalls to talk about. Should be interesting to see what Hickenlooper will do to distract our attention from his recent incompetence. Hopefully the Repubs will run a viable candidate.

  • andy

    the republicans will run another crazy nut and that is why you republicans will lose. A good republican is one that dies of terminal cancer

  • andy

    the republican terrorists shut down our government and the republican vermin will pay in 2014 like they paid in 2013 in vIRGINIA…..We are coming for your jobs you right wing vermin scum!

    • John

      Naw, the fact that we have jobs (mostly) and you need them (again, mostly) is indicative of what is wrong with this country under O’Blunder. OTOH, if you could handle my job, you would already be employed and would not be voting for Obama.

  • SloCatch

    Remarkable just how differntly we all reason. I for one have realized that one who resorts to name calling displys the lowest IQ.

  • SloCatch

    Fastgirl, I am curious, do you own a firearm? The reason why I ask is that this article is based around issues concering that subject. I for one own a few and average shooting about 300 rounds a month. My favorite weapon is a very small but deadly accurate 17HMR rifle with a bolt action and up to a 7 shot clip. I also own a semi-automatic 9mm with a 9 shot clip , 30-06 Springfield bolt action with a 4 shot capacity and a 12 guage shotgun 5 shot capacity. I really do appreciate most of the law’s recently passed. Or I should say do not oppose them. I can certainly see why recall is in order of a politician who puts their own needs above the majority of their constituents like in this case. Do you oppose a 30 round clip for an assault rifle and if so why?

    • John

      As another firearm owner, it seems to me as if you are prepared to accept some restrictions as long as they do not affect your personal use and ownership of firearms. Have you not yet realized that the whole plan is to whittle away at ALL ownership a little here and a little there until there is none left? So, you do not think that you need more than nine rounds and, indeed, I often carry a .45 with only eight. But I don’t think it is your place for you to agree to negotiate away my right to carry my Glock with 15 rounds, any more than you would like me, say, to agree that 30-06’s had no place on Colorado’s streets and should not be owned. One day it is large magazines, another it is pump action shotguns, then automatic shotguns, then any rifle that is not a single shot, then any handgun with a caliber over 320, then water pistols and so forth. Have you never heard the expression “we must all hang together or assuredly we will all hang separately.”

      If you want us fellow enthusiasts to stand up for what you think you should own, then you must do the same for us. Many of us believe that if one is ever involved in a gunshot, it is best that we do not need to reload until it is over, no matter how many shots it might take. And, in any case, it is totally unproven that magazine limits make the world a safer place.

  • SloCatch

    John, I want to thank you for your very civil response although I do somewhat disagree. I was perfectly clear that I do not disagree with the recall, but support it. If I was able to voice my opinion with a vote I would have, but it was not my district. I do not nor did I say I opposed a 30 round clip. I suspect if in a fierce firefight on the homeland it would be with authorities coming to take my weapons. I doubt if they would ever come in force to begin with. If they did, I would have the hardest time aiming to kill one of our own. I would hand it over if I had not hidden it by that time; it is only an asset, not worth taking a life for. Then again if I was put in a situation where they came in force to take my weapons hopefully I would be able to disable the weapon that opposed me at 100 yards, I feel I would only have one shot to do it. I have never seen anyone in a firefight standing up. It is impossible to shoot from the prone position with a long clip without defeating your purpose of being in the prone position. If everyone had 30 round clips, the available ammo would be expended in a very short time. The Government is the only entity with excess ammo. My position on the 30 round clip is that it is unnecessary, accuracy is. Most of the copycat murderers use them; they are never in the prone position from what I see. The pictures of SWAT team members do not use them from what I see. I love my standard Chevy truck, I laugh when I see a Chevy truck with spinners and a lift kit. I most likely would be the one to stand alone, it was my upbringing, and I don’t expect anyone to stand for me. The only person that I know that has a 30 round clip and an assault weapon drives his car in a most offensive manor, as well as his motorcycle and sailboat, in my mind has no business owning a weapon of mass destruction. Again, thanks for your input. Hope to meet you at the range someday.

  • Ross

    I will pay anyone who can hack Andy’s address. Would really like to know where Andy loves. Since your so brave Andy, post where you live…want to pay you a visit. We can …talk…

Comments are closed.