The first petition to recall a Colorado Democrat was approved by the Secretary of State’s office on Thursday, part of mounting efforts by Republicans and conservative advocacy groups in the state who pledged to recall Democrats.
The office approved petitions that will be circulated to recall Rep. Rochelle Galindo, D-Greeley. Proponents will need to collect 5,696 signatures by June 3 in order to hold a recall election.
Galindo isn’t the only Democrat facing the threat of a recall.
Democrats, who control both chambers in the state’s General Assembly, have been able to push through several pieces of key legislation with little to no support from Republicans, leading to the recall threats.
Last week, recall efforts gained an endorsement from newly elected state Republican Party chairman Ken Buck, who also serves in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“We need to teach them how to spell r-e-c-a-l-l,” Buck told party officials and supporters, according to The Colorado Sun.
Proponents of the recalls cite Galindo’s support for Senate Bill 181, which will overhaul how the state regulates the oil and gas industry and was passed by the General Assembly earlier this week.
Galindo’s district is in Weld County, the state’s top energy-producing county. County officials opposed the legislation.
One of the registered committees, the "Committee To Recall Rochelle Galindo," which is headed by former Weld County GOP chair Stacey Kjeldgaard and Weld GOP official Marge Klein, has $325,000 in pledged campaign donations, according to the Greeley Tribune.
The committee is focusing its message on Galindo’s support for the new oil and gas regulations.
Values First Colorado, a political action committee run by Joe Neville, Senate Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s brother, is currently targeting Galindo, Rep. Meg Froelich, D-Englewood, and Sen. Jeff Bridges, D-Greenwood Village, for recalls, according to the group’s website.
Democrats also hope to ask voters to permanently keep refunds granted under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights in order to help fund infrastructure and education.
Gov. Jared Polis is also facing recall efforts.
More than 631,000 signatures would need to be collected in 60 days after the state approves a petition in order to get the recall on the ballot, Colorado Public Radio reported.
Lindsey Singer, communications director for the conservative advocacy group Colorado Rising Action, said the Democrats’ legislative agenda is to blame for the recall efforts.
“Democrats at the legislature have passed through some extreme legislation – giving away our vote in presidential elections to high population states like California and New York, sailing through oil and gas regulations that will cut billions of dollars from our economy every year, and passing extreme anti-gun laws – all with no Republican support,” she said. “In many areas Coloradans don't feel like they are being represented properly, and they have every right to pursue a recall.”
Colorado voters in 2013 recalled two Democratic senators who backed gun control legislation.