PUEBLO, Colo. - George Rivera isn't waiting for Gov. Hickenlooper to announce a recall election to begin campaigning. On Sunday, he met with voters as critics of Pueblo state Sen. Angela Giron counted the petition signatures necessary for a recall election.
Last month, Rivera announced plans to run against Giron in November 2014 for Colorado Senate District 3, but hopes he gets the chance to run against her sooner if recall organizers submit enough signatures to warrant a recall election.
"It just didn't seem that the people in the Legislature were listening to the constituents out there," Rivera said.
Rivera cited Giron's vote on a series of gun bills earlier this year when Giron voted to ban the sale of magazines with more than 15 rounds. Giron also voted in favor of requiring background checks on all private gun sales.
Last week, Giron told KRDO she did listen to her constituents.
"I believe if I would have voted the other way I would have had a lot more people upset because I really do believe I voted my district," Giron said.
Rivera, who signed the recall petition, disagrees. "I thought that the laws that were being passed up there were an infringement on my right to have a weapon or possess a weapon as the right I have as an American citizen."
Rivera is a newcomer to politics and says up until now, he never would have considered himself a politician. He spent 34 years as a Pueblo police officer and retired as a deputy chief in 2005.
"I think my biggest obstacle would be convincing the Hispanic population that I'm a reasonable alternative," Rivera said.
Rivera admits he doesn't have the money or name recognition Giron does but says his common sense approach to politics will help win him votes.
If Hickenlooper announces a recall election, Rivera would need to gather 1,000 signatures to face Giron. Rivera said he feels confident he can do that.