A Third Colorado Senator Throws In The Towel Over Gun Control: Hudak Resigns Instead Of Facing Voter Recall


Democrat Evie Hudak watched in September as Colorado voters sent two of her party colleagues in the State Senate home. Like them, Hudak had supported gun control legislation earlier this year that left many Coloradans angry — angry enough to force two successful recall votes against prominent Democratic supporters of the law.

Hudak, herself the target of a petition to hold a recall vote, would have learned on Dec. 3 whether the petition had gathered enough signatures. But she evidently saw the writing on the wall: On Wednesday, without waiting for the petition to be submitted, she resigned her Senate seat.

Hudak’s resignation means she will avoid the humiliating experience that Senate President John Morse and Senator Angela Giron endured. Morse and Giron chose to fight voters’ recall efforts, both in the courts and on the campaign trail. Each had ardently supported gun control. Each was recalled on Sept. 10 and replaced by a Republican.

If Hudak had lost a recall vote, control of the State Senate would have flipped from Democratic to Republican. Hudak and the State’s Democratic Party leadership decided that avoiding that scenario was sufficient justification for her to resign.

From Fox 31 in Denver:

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 [2014], 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.

Hudak did herself no favors in the political fallout that ensued following Governor John Hickenlooper’s signing of the gun control measures back in March. She seemed insensitive and out of touch with reality when she tried to redirect a rape victim who testified to the Senate that her ordeal would not have happened if she’d been allowed to carry a legal firearm on a college campus.

From the Denver Post:

Gun-rights activists in Colorado and nationally ripped Hudak for her inartful questioning of a rape victim during a hearing in March on a bill to ban weapons on campus. The woman told lawmakers that had she been permitted to use her concealed-carry permit and carry her gun on campus, the incident may have ended differently.

Hudak disagreed.

“I just want to say that, actually statistics are not on your side even if you had a gun,” Hudak said, during the hearing. “And, chances are that if you would have had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you.”

Of that comment, we wrote at the time:

It isn’t clear where Hudak got her numbers, but FBI statistics indicate that firearm use for self-defense outnumbers criminal firearm use 4-to-1. Of the 2.1 million times firearms are used in self-defense annually, 1.9 cases involve handguns and 10 percent involve women fending off sexual predators.

Also according to FBI numbers, there were an estimated 83,425 forcible rapes reported to law enforcement in 2011. Females age 16 to 24 have the highest likelihood of becoming the victim of rape — two to three times higher.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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