Garcia to challenge recall

Pueblo’s Garcia to challenge recall effort door to door

Zach Hillstrom | Crime and Courts Reporter | THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN | Aug 9, 2019

Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia is no stranger to knocking on doors and campaign canvassing, but today, the two-term state senator is going door to door to speak with constituents — not to encourage votes in his favor, but to combat a recall effort against him.

Garcia, a Democrat who represents District 3 and is the state Senate president, was elected to a second term in 2018 with nearly 74% of the vote, besting Libertarian John Pickerill by more than 25,000 votes.

Despite the wide margin of victory, two recall committees filed paperwork with the Colorado secretary of state’s office in April targeting Garcia, as well as state Rep. Bri Buentello, D-Pueblo.

“I’ve been fortunate to be elected several times out of that district in various capacities, and I feel really proud of the work that I’ve been able to do on behalf of constituents who’ve elected me to do it,” Garcia said.

“I have not seen them officially launch this recall, but from my perspective, I’m going to be proactive in talking with constituents about things that are important to them, ensuring that I’m in tune and not listening to outside interest groups.”

Garcia said considering his margin of victory in last year’s election and the positive feedback he routinely hears from local constituents, he finds it concerning that Republicans in other cities, as well as Republican-backed interest groups from out-of-state, are leading the charge against him.

In order to trigger a special election, the recall effort’s backers would need more than 13,506 Senate District 3 voters to sign on.

“Let’s just be very clear: The recall message that is happening is being funded by Fort Lupton and Colorado Springs and outside interest groups. That’s a fact,” Garcia said.

“This is not many people from Pueblo. It’s outside interest groups trying to influence a few people in Pueblo to drive this conversation and it’s absurd.

“It hasn’t worked in other parts of the state — and for them to think they’re going to use Pueblo as a model for it is very concerning, especially when Puebloans in my Senate District 3 just had an election for me.”

To hear from constituents about their potential concerns, Garcia and local activists will be taking off from the Pueblo County Democrats office at 602 W. Ninth St. at 11 a.m. and departing for the door-knocking effort in local neighborhoods.

When it comes to Pueblo voters, “I feel absolutely confident that I have not failed,” Garcia said.

“That’s why I point to my record and say. ‘Just look at the results I’ve been able to achieve for Southern Colorado.’

“And I’m happy to have that conversation with anyone and everyone.

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