An effort to recall Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) was approved for circulation on July 8, 2019. Supporters have until September 6, 2019, to collect 631,266 signatures to force a recall election.
The recall effort has been organized by a group called Dismiss Polis. According to Colorado Politics, the group is trying to recall Polis due to legislation that he signed during the 2019 state legislative session. The legislation includes a gun bill, an oil and gas regulation bill, as well as legislation related to the national popular vote. The gun bill was designed to temporarily remove guns from people who have been deemed a threat to themselves or others. The oil and gas bill was designed to give local governments more authority to regulate the industry and also mandates that the state emphasize safety over promoting oil and gas production. Both bills were signed by Gov. Polis (D) in April 2019. Polis also signed legislation in March 2019 that would award Colorado’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.
After the recall was announced, Gov. Polis’ office issued the following statement: “The Governor is focused on governing for all of Colorado and ensuring that every Coloradan – no matter their zip code or political affiliation – has the opportunity to succeed. During his first six months in office, the Governor has created bipartisan solutions to lower the cost of health care, ensure every kid can go to free full-day kindergarten this fall, and cut taxes for small businesses. The Governor will continue to reach across the aisle and hopes that, by tackling key issues for Coloradans, we will continue to bring people together and focus on what unites us.”
Two state representatives—Tom Sullivan (D) and Rochelle Galindo (D)—were also targeted by recall campaigns in 2019 due to supporting the same legislation. The recall targeting Rep. Galindo (D) ended after she resigned her seat in May 2019. The recall targeting state Rep. Sullivan (D) ended in June 2019 after recall supporters concluded the effort. Unofficial recall campaigns are also underway against state Sen. Jeff Bridges (D), state Rep. Meg Froelich (D), state Rep. Bri Buentello (D), and state Sen. Leroy Garcia (D).
Since 2003, Ballotpedia has tracked 17 gubernatorial recall efforts. During that time, two recalls made the ballot and one governor was successfully recalled. Former California Gov. Gray Davis (D) was recalled by voters in 2003 and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). In 2012, Wisconsin voted to retain Gov. Scott Walker (R) in a recall election. The only other governor to ever be successfully recalled was former North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier (R) in 1921.
Colorado became a Democratic trifecta in 2019 after Democrats flipped the state Senate in the 2018 elections. Democrats control the state House by a 41-24 margin and the state Senate by a 19-16 margin. Gov. Polis succeeded John Hickenlooper (D) as governor in 2019. He won the 2018 election with 53.4% of the vote.