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Good government advocate Peg Perl will run for Denver clerk

Author: Joey Bunch - July 28, 2017 - Updated: July 27, 2017

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Marianne Goodland of the Colorado Independent was the first to report Thursday that Peg Perl will run for Denver County clerk and recorder.

Perl hinted at such a move in a chat with Colorado Politics in June, and our Ernest Luning outright predicted she would jump in, if Debra Johnson chose not to seek a third term.

That’s what happened Thursday, so Perl pulled the campaign trigger. She’ll be a formidable candidate with a background in the law, good government advocacy and good political relationships, even with most opponents.

She’s rated as one of the top lawyers in the state, and from 2012 until June, she was the senior counsel for Colorado Ethics Watch, the tenacious government watchdog nonprofit in Denver that many on the right argue is biased for the left.

Perl left to start her own firm and lay the groundwork for a jump into politics, she told us last month.

“I plan to continue to work for modernized campaign spending disclosure and elections, and transparent ethical government responsive to all residents at the state and local level in my new consulting venture,” she said.


Running elections is the office’s highest profile duty, but it also handles marriage licenses, foreclosures and a big mess of records.

Perl has plenty of time to build a campaign. The election isn’t until 2019.

Johnson, 61, said she’s retiring. She was elected in 2011, after serving as city clerk in Aurora.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.