DA recall election set Dec. 13 | AspenTimes.com

DA recall election set Dec. 13

Chad Abraham

District Attorney Colleen Truden and her foes have a date.It promises not to be a romantic affair.The Colorado secretary of state’s office announced Monday that the bitter effort to unseat Truden will culminate with an election on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Gov. Bill Owens selected the date.Whether it will be a super Tuesday for the district attorney or her opponents is anyone’s guess. The Republican candidates, Chip McCrory and Martin Beeson, both former prosecutors, have 15 days to gather the signatures of 1,000 registered Republicans in order to get their names on the ballot.The election will take place in the 9th Judicial District, comprising Pitkin, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties. A simple majority vote, districtwide, will determine whether Truden retains her post or is removed from office. In the event she is recalled, the same election will determine her successor.Candidates must collect signatures and submit their petition to the secretary of state by Nov. 1, according to a statement from the office.Beeson was formerly a deputy district attorney under Truden. McCrory worked as a prosecutor in the district before Truden took office nearly a year ago.Since her election, seven prosecutors and several office staffers have resigned from the district, and most have had harsh words for their former boss. Former deputy district attorney Tony Hershey is suing Truden over the circumstances that led to his departure.The recall petition accused Truden of mismanagement, dishonesty, wasting taxpayer dollars and failing to prosecute cases, among other transgressions.Her opponents submitted a recall petition to the state containing 9,032 signatures, though only 5,455 were needed to put a recall on the ballot. The secretary of state’s office verified 6,626 of them as valid; Truden announced last week that she would not challenge the petition, allowing the recall to proceed.She has blasted her opponents for spreading “lies and distortions.”Monday, Truden said just under two months would “absolutely” be enough time to mount her recall defense campaign. She reiterated that her office is prosecuting more cases.”That’s why I didn’t contest the signatures. It needs to go to the voters,” she said. “They need to be able to say they’re supportive of this office.”Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is chad@aspentimes.com