Colorado Sen. Kevin Priola, who on Monday announced he will be switching his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat, is now facing recall efforts.
Priola currently represents Senate District 25 and in January will also be representing District 13 under the redrawn district. Unless recalled, his term limit extends until 2025.
As reported by the Denver Post, the recall committee consists of two local Republican residents from District 13: Louisa Andersen, an educator and business owner who ran for Greeley City Council last year but lost, and Jeff Sloan, who owns an auto shop franchise in Greeley and was a candidate for a House seat in 2018 – though his run was short-lived.
The recall petition must first be submitted to – and accepted by – the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. Then, the petition must gather over 18,000 signatures from voters within 60 days after being approved.
“Recalling Kevin Priola would be good for SD 13 and good for the State of Colorado,” said Michael Fields, a senior adviser for Advance Colorado Action, a conservative group aiding in the recall efforts.
“His record at the Capitol has been terrible. He voted for higher fees and taxes, to take away our TABOR refund checks, for ‘safe’ injection sites, and to decriminalize fentanyl,” Fields added. “Voters in SD 13 deserve to decide who they want to represent them. My guess is they’ll pick someone they can actually trust and who more closely reflects their views.”
Priola hit back at the petition: “I just find it interesting, when just two years ago (Republicans) ran campaign ads talking about how bipartisan I am and how I’m a problem solver who worked to create solutions for Coloradans. Now they’re going to find some reason why I’m bad.”
Local Republicans have expressed their support for the recall, with GOP Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown saying in a written statement: “Kevin Priola lied to voters and broke the trust of those who elected him.”
Meanwhile, Democrats signaled support for their new party member. “As I’ve said in the past when these clowns have down this, recalls should be done for corruption and malfeasance, not because you disagree with someone,” Senate President Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder) told The Colorado Sun.
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
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