DENVER - State senator John Morse lost his bid to stay in office by 343 votes.
Morse and state senator Angels Giron were recalled by voters on Tuesday, many of them upset that Morse and Giron voted for new gun control measures limiting magazine sizes and requiring expanded background checks.
17,845 people voted in Morse's district in Colorado Springs. 50.96 percent of them voted to oust Morse. 49 percent voted to retain Morse.
In Giron's district, the margin was wider. Of the 34,556 people that voted, 56 percent voted to recall Giron while 44 percent voted to keep her.
The man elected to replace Giron, former Pueblo deputy chief of police George Rivera, said people should hold their legislators accountable.
"When laws are passed they have ramifications, and that’s why we were so concerned about these laws that infringed on second amendment rights," said senator-elect Rivera.
Opponents of the new gun control measurers attempted to recall several lawmakers around the state. While most of the petition drives failed, two succeeded. The senators tried to challenge the wording of the petitions in court, but lost.
"I do worry that now that a recall has been successful, it will become a political tactic for both sides," Morse told reporters after his concession speech.
"I think that is a horrible way to govern," he added.
Morse served State Senate District 11, which includes most of central Colorado Springs. He was first elected to the state senate in 2006. He previously worked as a police officer in Colorado Springs, and the chief of police in Fountain.
The Republican candidate elected to replace Morse is former Colorado Springs city councilman Bernie Herpin.
"I will serve you with honor," Herpin said on his website. "I will respect your rights. I will listen and respond.”
Herpin congratulated the grassroots campaign that got him into office.
"You have reminded us that elected officials are accountable to those who elect them and that this is truly a government of the people, by the people and for the people," Herpin said.
Giron was initially leading in the voting, but lost when all the voters were counted.
"I'm a little perplexed, but this is what I know: I know that I have not one iota of regret from what I voted on," Giron said.
Giron served Senate District 3, which covers most of the City of Pueblo and Pueblo West. She was elected to state senate for the first time in 2010, after spending three decades working with the Boys and Girls Club.
Both sides campaigned vigorously in the days leading up to the election. Our partners at The Denver Post reported last week that the National Rifle Association spent $361,703 in the recall efforts of Morse and Giron. One week earlier the newspaper reported that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $350,000 to a special issue committee backing the two imperiled senators.