Democrat Brittany Pettersen launches run for Ed Perlmutter’s congressional seat
Author: Ernest Luning - April 9, 2017 - Updated: April 11, 2017
Just a half hour after U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter announced his campaign for governor on Sunday afternoon, state Rep. Brittany Pettersen, a Lakewood Democrat, launched her bid to represent the battleground 7th Congressional District seat Perlmutter has held for a decade.
“Too many families in Colorado are facing tough times and we need leaders who understand those challenges,” said Pettersen, who was elected I never November to her third term representing Jefferson County’s House District 28. “When it comes to good schools for Colorado kids, access to healthcare for everyone and protecting seniors from cuts to Social Security, I’ll stand up to Donald Trump and fight for regular people.”
Pettersen could be facing a crowded primary. State Sen. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood, plans to announce he’s jumping in the race on Wednesday, and state Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, told The Colorado Statesman on Sunday that he’s more than likely to run for the seat.
The suburban 7th District hugs Denver to the west and north, including western Adams County and most of the denser-populated areas of Jefferson County.
The Colorado Statesman was first to report that Pettersen and Kerr were planning to run for the seat if Perlmutter decided to run for governor.
In her announcement, Pettersen heaped praise on Perlmutter, who is serving his sixth term in Congress.
“For the last decade, Ed Perlmutter has been an outstanding congressman and is a model for public service,” Pettersen said in a statement.
Perlmutter made his run for governor official at a campaign event at Natural Grocers in Golden.
Pettersen serves as majority whip in the House and chairs the House Education Committee. She also sits on the House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee.
The Colorado native says the opportunities afforded by her public education have inspired her to be a leader on education issues.
“Supporting these teachers, supporting these kids is the No. 1 priority for me,” she told a group of 7th Congressional Democrats gathered at the party’s biennial reorganization meeting last month at a union hall in Denver.
Pettersen has sponsored the Middle Class College Savings Act and the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative in order to help more Colorado students attend college, her campaign notes.
The National Republican Congressional Committee put Perlmutter’s district on its target list earlier this year, although Democrats point out that the district is a lot less competitive than it was when its boundaries were originally drawn.
According to the most recent voter registration figures, 34.6 percent of active registered voters in the district are Democrats, 26.5 percent are Republican and 36.9 percent are unaffiliated.
Perlmutter has won the seat by double digits every time he’s been on the ballot, with margins ranging from 10 points in 2014 against challenger Don Ytterberg, who chaired the Jefferson County GOP before and after his congressional run, to 27 points in 2008 against political novice John Lerew. His other Republican opponents — Rick O’Donnell, Ryan Frazier, Joe Coors and George Athanasopoulos, in sequential order — each lagged Perlmutter by around a dozen points.
A 2018 Republican candidate for the district has yet to emerge, although Ytterberg told The Statesman last weekend that he was considering another run.
This story has been corrected to reflect that Dominick Moreno is a state senator, not a state representative, and that Brittany Pettersen is the majority whip, not the deputy majority whip. We regret the errors.