Instead of facing a recall vote spearheaded by gun rights activists, a Democratic state senator from Colorado chose to resign, citing the costs of holding a special election and the preservation of the state’s new gun control laws.
State Sen. Evie Hudak, a Democrat representing Jefferson County, resigned in a letter Wednesday. Her seat was targeted by gun rights activists trying to wrest control of the Colorado legislature from Democrats in the wake of the 2013 gun rights bill signed into law by Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper. The legislation was spurred by the 2012 Aurora, Colo., theater shooting during the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” in which 12 people were killed and 70 others were injured.
"This decision has been difficult to make," Hudak wrote in her resignation letter, according to the Denver Post. "I believe I have listened closely to the ideas and concerns of my constituents in the past five years, both through over 100-town hall meetings and community coffees I have hosted, and in the thousands of e-mails and phone calls from engaged citizens in my community."
Hudak’s decision to resign means that another Democrat will replace her in the Colorado State Senate. State law requires that she be replaced by a member of her own party. A recall election would have meant voters could have replaced Hudak with a Republican.
In her resignation letter, Hudak referenced Colorado’s new gun control laws as part of the reasoning for her stepping down.
“By resigning, I am protecting these important new laws for the good of Colorado,” she wrote, according to the New York Times.
She also cited the costs of the recall election, which she pegged at $200,000.
Hudak’s opponents said her decision to resign may have skirted the will of the voters.
“This is a cowardly way out of the recall,” Joe Nevillle of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, the organization that led the recall against Hudak, told the Post.