DENVER — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has a message for out-of-state gun-control groups: Stay away from the next Colorado recall. Please.
The Democratic governor said Sunday it’s “probably not a bad idea” for gun-control advocates — read, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — to refrain from jumping into the state’s latest recall drive, this one against Democratic state Sen. Evie Hudak.
“Colorado is a state that people like to be resourceful themselves and solve their own problems,” said Mr. Hickenlooper in a video interview with USA Today. “They don’t really like outside organizations meddling in their affairs.”
Mr. Hickenlooper’s remarks, made during a weekend trip to Washington, D.C., for the Hero Summit, came as his first public acknowledgment that the Bloomberg strategy may have backfired in Colorado.
Mr. Bloomberg donated $350,000 to two Democratic state legislators fighting the recall elections, which were triggered by their support for gun-control bills pushed earlier this year by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group he founded.
Both Democrats lost the Sept. 10 recall, but Mr. Bloomberg recently dismissed their defeats as little more than collateral damage.
“What do you mean we lost?” Mr. Bloomberg told Time magazine in the Oct. 21 issue. “I’m sorry for those two people. But we won in Colorado. On to the next state.”
Mr. Hickenlooper gave the group pushing the third recall, Recall Hudak Too, a 50-50 chance of gathering the signatures necessary to force another special election. Volunteers have until Dec. 3 to collect 18,303 valid signatures from voters in the suburban Jefferson County district.
“I didn’t think they’d get enough signatures for the first two, but they’re well-funded, and there’s a lot of energy behind this, a lot of frustration,” Mr. Hickenlooper said.
He added that he isn’t thrilled with the recall approach to ousting lawmakers. The Sept. 10 defeats of state Sens. Angela Giron and John Morse were the first recalls of state legislators in Colorado history.
“Certainly the Founding Fathers anticipated recalls, and it’s been part of our system since the very beginning,” Mr. Hickenlooper said. “I accept recalls. I think it’s a very expensive and inefficient way to pick your leadership.”