Officials from both parties consider replacing Ed Perlmutter in Colorado’s 7th District | Election 2022

Several Jefferson County politicians told Colorado Politics they are deciding to enter the race for the 7th congressional district after eight-term Democratic U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter’s surprise announcement Monday that he will not run again. .

Potential candidates include two state lawmakers and a county commissioner whose husband narrowly lost a bid for the same seat two decades ago in what has proven to be the nation’s closest congressional race this that year.

Three prominent candidates from the major parties are already running in the 7th CD, which leans toward the Democrats but is expected to be among Colorado’s most competitive congressional races this year under new boundaries approved last fall during the redistricting process.

State Senator Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, announced Tuesday that she is running for the seat, which is dominated by suburban Jefferson County and Broomfield and stretches south through half a dozen of mountain counties after Cañon City.

Voters in the newly configured district preferred Democratic candidates by an average margin of 7% in recent statewide benchmark elections, according to an analysis by the state redistricting commission, and Chairman Joe Biden carried his electorate in 2020 by around 14%, slightly better than the Democrat. performed statewide.

Republicans, however, are salivating at Biden’s plunging approval rating and the chance to compete for an open seat in Congress midterm, when the party that occupies the White House typically loses ground in Congress.

Republicans already campaigning for the seat are Laurel Imer, a former legislative candidate and supporter of former President Donald Trump, and first-time candidate Erik Aadland, a former oil and gas executive who rose from the Senate primary. American in the race for Congress earlier this month.

Democrat Brittany Pettersen launches bid for 7th DC seat held by retired US Representative Ed Perlmutter

Others considering a run are State Rep. Colin Larson, a Ken Caryl Republican serving his second term; State Representative Brianna Titone, a Democrat from Arvada who is in her second term; and Jefferson County Commissioner Lesley Dahlkemper, a Lakewood Democrat who launched her campaign for a second term earlier this month.

Larson, who survived a 2020 primary challenge from a former conservative state lawmaker, told Colorado Politics he was considering running for Congress and recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to assess the support.

In an email sent Wednesday evening, the day the General Assembly convened to kick off the 2022 session, Larson said he was busy with legislative duties but planned to announce whether he would showed up in a week.

“Yeah, happy to confirm I was in DC exploring a run for CD7,” Larson said. “With the session starting today, I have to focus on my bill deadlines, so I have to focus on the legislature for the next few days, but I will be making a decision in the next 7 days.”

Republican Erik Aadland jumps out of U.S. Senate race to face Perlmutter in CD 7

Titone, an engineer, became the first transgender state legislator elected in Colorado in 2018 and would be the first transgender member of Congress if she wins the election in the 7th CD.

Last year, she considered running in the state’s new 8th congressional district, which covers parts of Adams, Weld and Larimer counties, but decided against it. Now that Perlmutter’s headquarters will be open, she weighs a race again.

“I’m looking at perspective,” Titone wrote in an email. “I think that opening caught most people off guard and in a rush.”

National Republicans add Colorado Democrat Ed Perlmutter to list of

Dahlkemper, a former school board member, said in an email: “We’re looking into it. I’ll make a decision by next week.”

Her husband, Mike Feeley, a lawyer and former state Senate minority leader, came within 121 votes of going to the newly minted 7th DC Congress in 2002, but ended up losing the squeal to Republican Bob Beauprez, who served two terms and then resigned. for a run for governor.

Perlmutter, a lawyer and former state senator, won the seat opened in 2006, when it was considered one of the nation’s closest battleground districts, and won re-election with double-digit margins. in every election since.

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