Colorado state Sen. Evie Hudak announced Wednesday that she is resigning from office “effective immediately,” marking the exit of yet another pro-gun control lawmaker in the state.
It's believed the Democratic senator based her decision to step down on the likelihood she would lose a recall election over her support for Colorado's strict new gun control laws. A recall election loss would result in Republicans gaining control of the state senate.
“In the interest of preserving the progress made over the last year, I am resigning as state senator for district 19, effective immediately,” Hudak said in her letter of resignation.
News of her impending resignation, which was first reported by KDVR-TV, would seem to throw a wrench into earlier hopes that Colorado would serve as a blueprint for a national push for more gun control.
Hudak’s early exit means she avoids becoming the third Democrat to face a tough recall election after supporting the state’s new gun control laws.
Democratic state Sens. John Morse and Angela Giron tried to fight their recall elections but were both booted from office and replaced with Republicans.
Hudak and fellow Democrats reportedly believed recall efforts against her would have been successful. After conferring with top Colorado Democrats, the state senator finalized her decision to resign late Tuesday, according to KDVR-TV.
“Most Coloradans believe that the convenience of high-capacity ammunition magazines is less important than saving lives in tragedies like Sandy Hook, Aurora and Columbine,” Hudak said in her resignation letter. “That’s why I sponsored SB 13-197, a bill that takes guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. … By resigning, I am protecting these important new laws.”
Before she announced her resignation, Hudak's opponents were busy collecting signatures for a Dec. 3 deadline. Opponents had reportedly collected 92 percent of the signatures needed to force a special recall election, organizer Mike McAlpine told radio host Mike Rosen this week.
But by resigning, Hudak has ensured that the Democratic vacancy committee will appoint someone to take her place. This keeps the state Senate in Democratic hands until at least November, when Hudak’s replacement will be forced to stand for election.
Colorado Democrat Rep. Tracy Kraft could serve as a possible replacement for Hudak, KDVR-TV notes, but it is unclear whether the congresswoman would give up her seat for the resigning senator.
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