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GOP's recall election candidate discusses goals, key issues

GOP's recall election candidate discusses goals, key issues

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The fate of Colorado's recall election is still up in the air, but that didn't stop the GOP's candidate on the campaign trail Friday.

The El Paso County Republic Party chose Bernie Herpin to run against state Sen. John Morse in the recall election.

Herpin said he's been in campaign mode for almost three weeks.  Herpin outlined key issues in the race for the Senate seat.

"I want to restore confidence of the voters in Senate District 11 that their voice will be heard," said Herpin.

He promised to be easily accessible and listen to constituents. He said that was Sen. Morse's biggest mistake.

"That to me was the ultimate arrogance when you turn your backs on the people who elected you and refuse to respond to their concerns, to consult with them, to allow them a voice," said Herpin.

A group called A Whole Lot of People for John Morse argues the recall petition is missing key language, which potentially misled participants. The petition did not indicate there would be a recall election -- the information is a requirement in a recall petition as outlined by Colorado's constitution.

The Colorado Secretary of State determined the petition was valid, even without the language.

The group filed an appeal in district court. It also asked for an injunction so Gov. Hickenlooper will chose an election date after the court's decision Wednesday.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 tried to set up an interview with Morse. Morse was not available. A representative from A Whole Lot of People For John Morse issued this statement:

"Senator Morse has represented (Senate District 11) for seven years. He has sponsored legislation that helps veterans, Colorado families and keeps job in Colorado. As a former police officer and chief, he has championed public safety legislation.

"We do not know what is going to happen in the courts. Given the number of people we have spoken to who either did not know what the petition was for or had no idea that signing would lead to an actual election, the language that the constitution calls for is very important and not just a minor issue as the petitioners have claimed."

Herpin said, in the end, there will be a recall election.

"They are going to tie it up in court as long as they can. I don't think they can tie it up for 14 months until November 2014."

Morse is term-limited in November 2014 and he will not be able to run again for the state's Senate. The Senate president was in the hot seat following his efforts to push through new gun legislation.

"The gun issue is not the number one. The No. 1 issue is to recall Senator Morse -- send a loud and clear message that we will no longer tolerate having our rights trampled on and our voices ignored," said Herpin.

If Herpin wins the seat, he planed to run in November 2014 for a full term.

"If the people have that much confidence to throw the Senate president out and put me in his place, I owe it to them to make myself available," said Herpin.

El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams recommended the election by Aug. 27. Colorado's constituition requires the governor chose a date immediately.

Williams said if the governor waits until Wednesday, the election will likely be the Tuesday after Labor Day weekend. Williams is concerned the date will impact voter turnout. Williams also said since the post office is closed that Monday, people's ballots may not make it in time to be included in the vote.

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