Weld County rancher Steve Wells has donated $100,000 through his company to the effort to recall Colorado state Rep. Rochelle Galindo (D). Prior to Wells’ donation, the recall committee had raised $2,542. The recall effort was approved for circulation on April 4 and the petition was submitted by Mary Achziger and Karen Kornins. Recall supporters have until June 3, 2019, to collect 5,696 signatures to force a recall election.
A separate, second recall effort against Galindo is also targeting state Sen. Jeff Bridges (D) and state Rep. Meg Froelich (D). These recalls were launched by Joe Neville. He is the head of the Values First Colorado political action committee and the brother of Senate Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R). The petitions have not been approved for circulation yet by the state.
Galindo is being targeted for recall because of her support for an oil and gas regulation bill and a gun bill. Both bills were signed by Gov. Jared Polis (D) in April 2019. The gun bill would temporarily remove guns from people who are deemed a threat to themselves or others. The oil and gas bill gives local governments more control over regulating the industry and also instructs the state to emphasize public safety over promoting oil and gas production. Other reasons given for the recall efforts include Galindo’s support of legislation related to the national popular vote and sex education.
The recalls have the support of newly elected state GOP chair and U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO). Galindo was elected to District 50 in the state House in 2018. She defeated Michael Thuener (R) in the general election with 54.4 percent of the vote. Prior to the 2018 election, Colorado Treasurer Dave Young (D) held the seat from 2011 to 2019.
After the recall petition was approved, Rep. Galindo said, “People are free to disagree with the decisions I make at the state capitol, and they’re free to vote for someone else in 2020. I will fight every day for our community and our shared best interests, and even for the people who disagree with me.”
Since 2011, 76 recall petitions have been filed against state lawmakers. Nine recalls were successful, nine were defeated at the ballot, 54 did not go to a vote, and four are still ongoing. California state Sen. Josh Newman (D) was recalled in 2018. Two Colorado state senators were successfully recalled in 2013.
Colorado became a Democratic trifecta in 2019 after Democrats flipped the state Senate in the 2018 elections. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers. Democrats control the state House by a 41-24 margin and the state Senate by a 19-16 margin. Gov. Jared Polis (D) was sworn into the governor’s office in 2019.