Unveiling a statewide logo on Thursday that says “Perlmutter for Colorado,” Colorado U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter says he has “an announcement” to make on Sunday.
That announcement, as first reported last month by Colorado Politics, is expected to be a run for governor on the Democratic ticket.
He is scheduled to speak at 1 p.m. Sunday at a Natural Grocers in Golden, keeping in line with Perlmutter’s tradition of holding meetings with constituents in grocery stores.
“Since being first elected to the Colorado State Senate in 1994, Ed has worked hard to improve the quality of life for hardworking Coloradans,” reads an advisory from his campaign.
Meanwhile, former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy is expected to announce a run for governor on Monday, further adding to a Democratic field.
Perlmutter, however, may be the toughest candidate to compete against in the primary, with strong name recognition and an organized fundraising team behind him.
The Arvada Democrat, who represents the 7th Congressional District, signaled that he would run for governor after former Interior Secretary and U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar – assumed to be the party’s standard-bearer in the gubernatorial race – declined to run for the office next year.
Perlmutter’s likely announcement would shakeup a developing Democratic field, which includes former state Sen. Mike Johnston, who just had a record-breaking fundraising period, with at least $625,000 for the first quarter of 2017.
The seat is open next year, as Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, is termed out.
If Salazar throws his support behind Perlmutter, as several observers expect he will, Perlmutter could be handed a significant advantage in the Democratic primary.
The campaign advisory issued Thursday highlights Perlmutter’s “deep roots in Colorado” as a lifelong resident of Jefferson County. The advisory also went on to highlight Perlmutter’s ability to work across the aisle with Republicans.
“Ed’s work in Congress includes protecting and creating good-paying jobs in Colorado including fighting for funding for the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden and protecting thousands of jobs as part of the Orion manned space flight program,” the advisory says.
“Ed has also been a bulldog when it comes to ensuring the new VA Medical Center is completed to serve Veterans across the Rocky Mountain region. With his bipartisan approach and effective leadership, Ed was re-elected five times in one of the most competitive congressional districts in the United States.”
Democrat Noel Ginsburg, a Denver manufacturing entrepreneur and civic leader, has already declared his candidacy in the 2018 gubernatorial race, along with Johnston.
A total of five Democrats have filed paperwork.
Perlmutter’s looming announcement builds on a big gubernatorial move already announced this week, when Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, who served as the lead prosecutor in the case against Aurora theater shooter James Holmes, announced his candidacy. Brauchler became the first high-profile Republican name in the race.
Also expected to announce a run for governor on the Republican ticket is state Treasurer Walker Stapleton. DaVita Healthcare Partners chief executive Kent Thiry is also said to be considering a run for governor on the Republican ticket, as is former U.S. Senate candidate and Colorado State University athletic director Jack Graham.
Former Republican state Rep. Victor Mitchell has already launched a campaign. A total of four Republicans have so far filed paperwork to run.
Fifteen candidates have filed to run in the 2018 gubernatorial race. In addition to the major party candidates, there is one Green Party candidate, one American Constitution Party candidate, a Unity Party candidate and three unaffiliated candidates.