DENVER (AP) – Colorado Democrats have won back two seats they lost in last year’s gun control recalls.

Leroy Garcia (credit: codemsenate.com)

Leroy Garcia (credit: codemsenate.com)

Republican Sen. George Rivera, a former deputy police chief, lost to state Rep. Leroy Garcia in Pueblo. In Colorado Springs, former state Rep. Michael Merrifield, a gun control advocate, beat Bernie Herpin, a founder of one of southern Colorado’s most active gun clubs.

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Michael Merrifield (credit: rockymountainright.com)

Michael Merrifield (credit: rockymountainright.com)

The recalls were watched nationally as a test for lawmakers who back gun control but the lesson now isn’t very clear.

Merrifield once worked for former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group. He says his gun control views didn’t hurt him but he said voters were far more interested in other issues like education and jobs. He also noted that turnout was higher than in the special recall election.

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