A District Court judge has put on hold the recall effort against Colorado State Senator Kevin Priola, who switched from Republican to Democrat, saying that petitions cannot go out until January 9 (when the Priola is sworn in). The recall effort had received the green light from the Secretary of State.
The issue is a complicated question of which district the recall should take place. The Secretary of State previously announced that any recall effort against Priola would take place in the 13th district, his new, more Republican district (4% GOP lean), rather than the 25th, which is evenly split. The change was due to regular redistricting.
Petitioners would need 18,291 signatures in 60 days.
The Senate is Democratic (21-14) and Priola is term-limited. He barely won office in 2020, 50.84-49.16. Priola switched parties due to his opposition to Republican election denial and conspiracy theories. In addition to his switch, petitioners are also citing his vote for road-use fees and a bill to make most drug possessions a misdemeanor, as well as drug injection sites in Denver.
Republicans leaned heavily into recalls after their disastrous showings in 2018, though to no effect (none got on the ballot). Colorado did have two recalls which led to the removal of two Democratic Senators in 2013 over gun control laws.
Voters have used the recall against party flippers twice in the past (arguably three times). In 1995, California Assemblyman Paul Horcher was ousted over moving from Republican to Independent and voting for Willie Brown for Speaker. Assemblywoman Doris Allen also moved from the Republicans in the same year and had herself elected Speaker, which led to her ouster. While seen as a betrayal, I don't believe she actually left the party. And in 1981, Washington State Senator Peter Von Reichbauer switched from Democrat to Republican, which flipped control of the chamber. Von Reichbauer survived the recall vote.