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Democrat Ed Perlmutter plans to launch gubernatorial campaign Sunday

Author: Ernest Luning - April 6, 2017 - Updated: April 6, 2017

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"I can tell you, it looks bad in Washington, and it is bad in Washington," says U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter says at the 7th Congressional District Democratic reorganization meeting Saturday, March 25, 2017, at the Pipefitters Local Union No. 208 hall in Denver. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

    “I can tell you, it looks bad in Washington, and it is bad in Washington,” says U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter says at the 7th Congressional District Democratic reorganization meeting Saturday, March 25, 2017, at the Pipefitters Local Union No. 208 hall in Denver. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, an Arvada Democrat, plans to announce Sunday he’s running for governor of Colorado in next year’s election.

Perlmutter’s campaign sent a release sporting a colorful “Perlmutter for Colorado” logo on Thursday afternoon to reporters saying the six-term congressman would be making an announcement Sunday afternoon at the Natural Grocers store in downtown Golden. Sources close to his campaign confirmed he plans to jump in the race for the gubernatorial seat held by term-limited Democrat John Hickenlooper.

During his decade representing Colorado’s battleground 7th Congressional District, Perlmutter has made a trademark out of his “government in the grocery” meeting with constituents.

Perlmutter will join state Rep. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, and businessman Noel Ginsburg in the Democratic primary field. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced late last month he wouldn’t be seeking the nomination, while former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy recently said she’s strongly considering a run for the office and could be jumping in the race soon.

It’s been no secret Perlmutter, who served two terms in the state Senate in the 1990s, has been considering a run for governor, and he telegraphed as much in an emotional speech at the reorganization meeting of the 7th Congressional District Democrats in late March.

“I think over the next few weeks and months you all are going to get a chance to help me bring the work and the advocacy that I’ve done, for the hard-working people in the 7th Congressional District, across the state of Colorado,” he said to cheers a few minutes after a rowdy union hall full of Democrats greeted him with chants of “Run, Ed, run!”

Republican George Brauchler, the district attorney for the 18th Judicial District, announced Wednesday morning he was getting in the race, joining former state Rep. Victor Mitchell, R-Castle Rock, and Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter III in a Republican Party primary field that is also destined to grow. State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, Davita Healthcare Partners Chairman and CEO Kent Thiry, and former CSU Athletic Director Jack Graham have all said they’re weighing bids.

The competition on both sides of the aisle for Perlmutter’s congressional seat could be vigorous. Two Democratic state lawmakers from Lakewood — state Sen. Andy Kerr and state Rep. Brittany Pettersen — have said they’ll run for the seat if Perlmutter runs for governor, and state Sen. Dominick Moreno, D-Commerce City, has also said he’s considering a run. Potential Republican candidates have yet to emerge, although 2014 GOP nominee Don Ytterberg, a former chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party, told The Colorado Statesman on Saturday that he’s mulling another run.

— ernest@coloradostatesman.com

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. Since 2009, he has been the senior political reporter and occasional editor for The Colorado Statesman.


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