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DENVER — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper Tuesday afternoon filed an response with the court asking that Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s Writ of Mandamus, filed Sunday in an effort to force the governor to set a date in two pending recall elections, be denied.

Attorney General John Suthers, a Republican like Gessler, filed the motion on Hickenlooper’s behalf, arguing that the governor isn’t required by the state constitution to set the date for the election until all legal appeals have been exhausted.

“The Governor’s obligation under statute does not arise until ‘the petition has been deemed sufficient and the time for protest has passed’,” Suthers’ motion states. “The statute provides that any party who is not satisfied with the hearing officer’s determination can appeal to any court having jurisdiction.”

The motion outlines the process by which the recall process moves ahead, noting that it’s not reached a conclusion.

“There should be an orderly process of petition circulation, filing, protest, and determination of sufficiency by the Secretary of State, and review in the courts, provided that each step is triggered by timely action,” the brief states. “Only when that process is complete and the recall petition “is sufficient” and its sufficiency properly certified does the Governor’s duty to set a date for the recall election ripen.”

According to a report by the Denver Post Tuesday, Suthers himself encouraged Gessler to obtain private counsel to file the Writ of Mandamus give that he, as the Attorney General, no matter his party affiliation, is obligated to represent the governor as well as the Secretary of State.