Recall Risk: Colorado Governor's Critics Start Collecting Signatures
By Anna Staver
A group that wants to recall Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has been given the green light to start circulating petitions to get a special election on the ballot this fall.
The Secretary of State's Office approved Dismiss Polis' petition format on Monday afternoon -- the six-month anniversary of the governor's inauguration. That means the group can start printing the petitions and distributing them to its supporters across the state.
Signature gatherers have 60 days -- until the end of business on Sept. 6 -- to submit 631,266 valid signatures from registered Colorado voters. If they fall short, the recall won't happen. If they succeed, it will be the first time in Colorado's history that a sitting governor has faced a recall election.
Conservatives who support the recall effort say Polis and other Democratic lawmakers deserve to be ousted from office for passing a gun control law and new restrictions on the oil and gas industry, as well as for binding Colorado's Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote.
But Polis beat his Republican opponent, former state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, by 10 points just eight months ago and a recent poll from Keating Research showed 55% of Coloradans think the state is on the right track.
Even the state's highest-ranking Republican officeholder, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, danced around the question when asked about the Polis recall.
"You know what, we gotta focus all we can on winning in 2020; getting our congressional seats back, getting our state legislature back ... ," Gardner said at a recent Republican Party event in El Paso County. "That's where I'm at. You may agree or disagree, but boy I think we gotta get our nuts and bolts together so that we can win."
As for Polis, the governor's spokesman said he's "focused on governing for all of Colorado."
"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- kindergarten this fall and cut taxes for small businesses," Conor Cahill said in a statement. "The governor will continue to reach across the aisle and hopes that by tackling key issues for all Coloradans, we will continue to bring people together and focus on what unites us."
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