Pro-gun control state lawmaker resigns before recall deadline
Colorado state capitol
November 27th, 2013
02:43 PM ET
10 months ago

Pro-gun control state lawmaker resigns before recall deadline

Updated 3:12 p.m. ET, 11/27/2013

(CNN) - A Democratic, pro-gun control state senator who faced a potential recall in Colorado abruptly resigned Wednesday, less than a week before the recall petition was due.

Sen. Evie Hudak's surprise resignation means a Democratic committee can appoint a new state senator in her place. Had she stayed in office and possibly faced a recall election, she would have gone up against a Republican, thus risking the Democrats' slim one-seat majority in the state Senate.

"In the interest of preserving the progress made over the last year, I am resigning as State Senator for District 19," she said in a letter to the secretary of the Senate.

After the successful recalls in September of two Democratic state senators who supported the state's unpopular, restrictive new gun control laws, a group of voters began to organize a recall effort against Hudak. (Voters had tried collecting signatures to recall Hudak earlier this year when similar efforts were waged against the other lawmakers, but the campaign against Hudak never made it to the recall level.)

"By resigning, I am protecting these important new laws for the good of Colorado and ensuring that we can continue looking forward," Hudak said in the letter.

The deadline to submit the 18,900 signatures needed to start a new recall election would have been Tuesday, December 3.

With her resignation, however, that effort is over. And her opponents aren't happy.

"This is not a victory," said Dave Palm, a registered Democrat and a small business owner who helped organize the grassroots campaign to collect signatures. "It's not a victory for the voters. It's not a victory for us."

Palm did not have an exact count of the signatures they had collected so far, but said they were 92% of the way toward their goal as of last Saturday, with the goal being more signatures than needed to ensure enough were valid.

He speculated the state's Democratic Party pressured her to resign, out of fear of possibly losing the majority in the Senate. Of the 35 seats, Democrats have a narrow 18-17 advantage over Republicans.

Palm, who says Hudak is a poor legislator for more reasons than simply her position on gun control, was still not satisfied with the fact that she would no longer be in office.

"If she had stayed with it and we had a chance to kick her out, that would be one thing. But at this rate we have no control over who's going to represent us," he said.

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee said the Jefferson County Democratic Party would appoint a new senator, who will serve until an election next November.

Michael Sargeant, executive director of the DLCC, said Hudak's "decision cannot have been easy," but added he was "confident the Jefferson County Democrats will appoint a new senator every bit as dedicated as Evie to carry on her legacy in the Senate majority caucus."

Being in her second term, Hudak was term-limited and unable to run for re-election in 2016. She narrowly won re-election last year with less than half her district's vote in a three-way race against a Republican and a Libertarian.

Her district covers Arvada and Westminster in the metropolitan area of Denver.

Hudak became a controversial figure during the gun control debate earlier this year. Most notably, she received sharp criticism for her reaction to a rape survivor who said she wished she had been able to use her concealed-carry permit to protect herself.

"I just want to say, statistics are not on your side, even if you had had a gun," Hudak told the woman, adding that even if she had a gun, her attacker "would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you."

Hudak later apologized, saying she "didn't meant to be insensitive," according to the Denver Post.

The new laws in Colorado, which took effect in July, limit firearm ammunition magazines to 15 rounds and require universal background checks on all firearm sales.

Responding to Hudak's surprise announcement Wednesday, Colorado Republican Committee chairman Ryan Call said her move was nothing but a political ploy.

"By side-stepping the recall process and not allowing the voters to choose a senator who will represent them, Evie Hudak's resignation shows that Democrats are much more concerned about holding onto political power than in being held accountable," he said.

- CNN's Jennifer Buesinger and Adam Levy contributed to this report.


Filed under: Colorado • Gun control • Gun rights
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    Oh dear Lord, someone call the whaaaaambulance. Totally within the rules. Scoreboard, wingers - you gotta wait till the next election.

    November 27, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. ada ada

    Democrats' war on women continues...the disposal of Hudak by Dem party "bosses" is yet another illustration

    November 27, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. Joe

    Democratic postering and ploys that takes your right your rights away to elect a representative. Their agenda is all they care about. Remember that in 2014 all across the Nation, win back our freedoms thru elections.

    November 27, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. bill

    party before country.

    November 27, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. Ol' Yeller

    "....to a rape survivor who said she wished she had been able to use her concealed-carry permit to protect herself."

    Anybody know the story on this? How was she unable to use her concealed carry permit to protect herself? Did she have her concealed carry permit, but just didn't have her gun at the time (if so, how is this anyone's fault but her own)? How are these new gun regulations going to affect anyone's ability to protect themselves? I got news for you folks.... if you cannot hit your target or scare your assailant away with 15 shots, then you really don't need to be carrying a gun around.
    In fact, you should only be able to look at a gun in the presence of an adult and under no circumstances should you be allowed to touch one.

    November 27, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. Stating the Obvious

    Wow.... talk about the Democrats literally spitting in the face of voters!! Yeah, enjoy that little majority a while longer but I'm sure every Colorado citizen is taking note of what Democrats are really all about. They did this because they knew they were going lose the election. Just like Harry Reid went nuclear because they know the Democrats will lose the Senate in 2014. Truly desperate moves by a desperate party trying to force itself on the people.

    November 27, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    All the fake outrage about a parliamentary manuever from the party that brought us the Hastert rule and filabustered hundred of nominees in DC

    November 27, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. just asking

    The Real Tom Paine
    All the fake outrage about a parliamentary manuever from the party that brought us the Hastert rule and filabustered hundred of nominees in DC
    --–

    democrats have also filibustered many times and harry reid is blockading the senate allowing nothing to be voted on. democrats are dirty as sin.

    November 27, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. truth hurts but reality bites

    I wonder why the Democrats are afraid to let the voters decide the issue? I wonder why the Democrats are afraid of free and open elections? Isn't this the ultimate in VOTER SUPPRESSION? Yes, I do believe so.

    November 27, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. TONE

    @Stating the obvious

    Like party of crooks the Republicans wouldn't do the same.

    November 27, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    -truth hurts but reality bites

    I wonder why the Democrats are afraid to let the voters decide the issue? I wonder why the Democrats are afraid of free and open elections? Isn't this the ultimate in VOTER SUPPRESSION? Yes, I do believe so.
    ****************
    Well, your people are the experts at it, so we will defer to your judgement. Btw, you would have made the AG's race in Virginia so much easier had you not purged so many qualified people off the rolls: as a result, the people of VA are paying for recvount they did not want or need.

    November 27, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    Out of 165 filibusters in our history of our senate, republicans have filibustered 82 times in the last 5 years.

    November 27, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Silence DoGood

    @ada ada "Democrats' war on women continues"
    (sarcasm alert for Tea-Party)
    Yes that is exactly the same as rabid Right Wing Religious zealots telling ALL women whom they can marry and what to do with their internal organs.

    The enemy of the far Right is their own mouth.

    November 27, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. Worth Repeating

    Wake up people! What you are seeing is the implementation of SOCIAL JUSTICE by Obama and the Democrats.

    It was not fair that 280 million people had healthcare they liked and wanted to keep while 50 million did not. Therefore all of the healthcare of the 280 million had to be taken down several notches to give that 50 million free of heavily taxpayer funded healthcare.

    Don't we all feel great now that justice has been rendered by Obama and the Democrats?!! Our families really didn't need that healthcare, that doctor, that hospital. It just wasn't fair for us to have it so it had to go.

    November 27, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Data Driven

    "Democratic postering and ploys that takes your right your rights away to elect a representative. Their agenda is all they care about. Remember that in 2014 all across the Nation, win back our freedoms thru elections."

    "Wow.... talk about the Democrats literally spitting in the face of voters!! Yeah, enjoy that little majority a while longer but I'm sure every Colorado citizen is taking note of what Democrats are really all about. They did this because they knew they were going lose the election. Just like Harry Reid went nuclear because they know the Democrats will lose the Senate in 2014. Truly desperate moves by a desperate party trying to force itself on the people."

    "I wonder why the Democrats are afraid to let the voters decide the issue? I wonder why the Democrats are afraid of free and open elections? Isn't this the ultimate in VOTER SUPPRESSION? Yes, I do believe so."

    ****************

    I see no one has called the whaaaaaambulance, yet.

    November 27, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Right wingers hate when the rules don't work in their favor. If you want to see authoritarian government, look no further than the Wisconsin and Texas legislatures.

    November 27, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. Tommy G

    It looks like the State of Colorado has laws that assume a political party is honest and respectful of voters rights. That is obviously not the case with the Democrats in that state. They need to make sure this can never happen again by changing the laws to prohibit it. And until then, vote every Democrat out of office to teach them a lesson about denying the voters the right to vote for who represents them. Looks like Colorado is getting redder by the day. Nice move Democrats!

    November 27, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    Recall elections should be used only in rare occasions of msconduct, malfeasance,or corruption. The use of the recall for partisan and ideological reasons is abusive and detrimental to good government.

    November 27, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Sen. Evie Hudak's surprise resignation means a Democratic committee can appoint a new state senator in her place.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Good strategic move on the part of the Democrats.
    You've got to hang on to the Senate majority by any means necessary. It is the only thing that stands in the way of the cray-crays in the House and Turd Cruzes of the Senate handing the keys to the country over to the Koch bros and the Heritage Society.
    You all lose the Senate and we're f'd for certain.

    November 27, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    @ada ada: "Democrats' war on women continues...the disposal of Hudak by Dem party "bosses" is yet another illustration"

    Your comment makes no sense; her resignation was to preserve the seat for a Democrat. Pretty smart move, in my opinion.

    BTW, when Weiner was asked to resign by Pelosi, did you call that a war on men by women?

    November 27, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Looks like Colorado is getting redder by the day. Nice move Democrats!
    -----------------------------------------
    And who won Colorado in the 2012 election? Hint: It wasn't Willard. This is the same state that has 11 counties that attempted to secede from the state.

    November 27, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. just asking

    Randy, San Francisco
    Recall elections should be used only in rare occasions of msconduct, malfeasance,or corruption. The use of the recall for partisan and ideological reasons is abusive and detrimental to good government.
    ---

    but of course you didn't say that when the leftist democrats tried to remove scott walker! nice try but gotcha!

    November 27, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    @Randy, San Francisco: "Recall elections should be used only in rare occasions of msconduct, malfeasance,or corruption. The use of the recall for partisan and ideological reasons is abusive and detrimental to good government."

    Good observation. GOPers, for all their claims about freedom and the like, are authoritarians who do not allow dissent of any kind.

    I think this is a direct result of the takeover by the GOP by evangelicals, pro-gun and anti-choice folks, all of home have very black-and-white views of the world – and all of whom are very weak and easily threatened by anyone who is not exactly like them.

    November 27, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. sonnie3

    Cnn is dumping comments big time on this subject.

    November 27, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    "I see no one has called the whaaaaaambulance, yet."

    Thanks for the chuckle, Data; I've added this to my lexicon.

    November 27, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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