GOP winners of recall elections sworn in at Capitol Thursday

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Republicans George Rivera, left, and Bernie Herpin will be sworn in as state senators on Thursday morning.

DENVER — On Thursday, two Republicans will raise their right hands and repeat an oath — and, in that moment, the Democrats will see their five-seat majority in the state senate trimmed to just one vote.

The incoming senators both won recall elections last month that booted two Democrats from office over their support of gun control legislation (although, in Pueblo, the defeat of Sen. Angela Giron was clearly about more than just those votes).

Bernie Herpin, a former Colorado Springs councilman, will take the Senate District 11 seat that has been held by Senate President John Morse, a Democrat, since 2006.

Morse released a statement saying he left the legislature “with no regrets.”

“A neighborhood in my district bears the troubling distinction of having the most gun deaths in the entire state.  As a Senator, I served families who expect, at a minimum, that we will prevent criminals from getting guns,” Morse said.

George Rivera, who was elected to take Giron’s place, will fill the Senate District 3 seat.

“I’m leaving, not on my own terms, but with my integrity intact and with the sure and certain knowledge that Colorado and Pueblo are safer with these modest gun safety laws,” Giron said in a statement.

Both rookie lawmakers will have to defend their seats in 2014.

Colorado Republican Committee Chairman Ryan Call said in a statement that the recall election “sent a strong message to arrogant and out-of-touch politicians everywhere: Our elected officials work for us, not the radical special interests.”

“As we did during the recall elections, the Colorado GOP will continue to stand by Sens. Herpin and Rivera, and look forward to their many years of service in the state Senate,” Call said.

Democrats, meanwhile, are trying to figure out who to elect to replace Morse as senate president.

The smart money is on Majority Leader Morgan Carroll of Aurora, but a few within the caucus are contemplating going with a more moderate Democrat like Sen. Mary Hodge of Brighton.

But regardless of whether Hodge is leading the caucus, she and two other more conservative Democrats, Sen. Lois Tochtrop of Thornton and Sen. Cheri Jahn of Wheat Ridge will enter 2014 as the most important lawmakers in the chamber.

Republicans, should the caucus stick together, would need to pick off just one of them to form an 18-vote majority bloc able to pass or kill any bill should it get to the floor.



  • Skip

    Ah…another grammatically challenged piece of work from the small mind of ELISTOKOLSMSM complete with biased phrases like

    – The smart money is on Majority Leader Morgan Carroll of Aurora
    – Republicans, should the caucus stick together

    Honestly, is it any wonder why baruck and his many mindless minions are the most hated in the country?

  • James Snail

    Excellent article! Informative, to the point, and wonderfully written. So sorry about that huge chip on your shoulder, Skip.

  • Aaron Davidson

    So NOW some Democrats want to nominate a more moderate Democrat for the Senate presidency? Too bad they didn’t think of that before, it may have saved them a couple of seats.

    Regardless, between our far-left legislature and Rubber Stamp Hick, Democrats have dug themselves a big honkin’ hole, and the recalls are just the beginning. Rubber Stamp Hick had a huge advantage before he decided to go along with energy rate hikes on rural Coloradans, the gun magazine ban, and the pardon of the Chucky Cheese Killer. He could have sailed to victory; now he’ll be fighting to keep his job along with the rest of the Dems.

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