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Perlmutter is back in congressional race, Moreno and Pettersen suspend campaigns

Author: Joey Bunch - August 21, 2017 - Updated: August 21, 2017

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U.S. Rep. Ed PerlmutterU.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (Colorado Politics file photo)

U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter announced Monday morning he’s back in the race for his old seat in Congress from the 7th Congressional District. The Democrat from Arvada said in April he would run for governor but in June he said had lost the competitive fire and dropped out of that race.

The Colorado Pols website first reported Monday morning that Perlmutter would officially seek re-election, and The Denver Post first reported Perlmutter’s statement on his decision.

Colorado Politics was the first to report Perlmutter was reconsidering his earlier decision and would likely run for his seat in Congress again, and that other candidates were reconsidering, as a result.

State Sen. Dominick Moreno and state Rep. Brittany Pettersen announced Monday they are suspending their campaigns, leaving state Sen. Andy Kerr and Dan Baer in the Democratic primary. No Republicans have yet announced.

“Over the last few weeks a lot has happened, both for me and in the world. I’ve taken some time to regroup and recharge, and in so doing I’ve had many meaningful conversations with friends, neighbors, supporters and family who have encouraged me to run again,” Perlmutter said in a statement Monday morning. “I have appreciated each and every conversation. It has made me take time to reflect on the future. And I’ve come to the conclusion to run again for re-election. To ask the hardworking people of the 7th district to once again put their trust in me to be their voice in Washington. I care deeply for our state, and I love my home which is here in the 7th district.

“I’ve talked to Andy, Brittany (and) Dominick and corresponded with Dan about my decision. They are all wonderful people and I know for them and some others my decision is not convenient or well timed, for which I’m sorry. But I know I have more to do and more to give to the people of the 7th district. I understand this is not an ideal situation — I really do — but I know we can all work together to fight for our Colorado way of life.”

Moreno announced Monday morning he is dropping out of the Democratic primary and will instead back Perlmutter.

“We continue to be in great hands with Congressman Perlmutter,” Moreno said in a statement. “Thank you to the many people who supported me along this journey. My time serving our community does not end with our campaign suspending, and I remain committed to standing up for our values in the state Senate.”

Pettersen made a similar announcement Monday afternoon.

“While I’m disappointed I will not have the opportunity to serve our community in Congress, I know that the people of the 7th district will continue to be well represented by Ed Perlmutter,” Pettersen said in a statement. “I am so proud and humbled by the support of the people across Colorado who believed in me and stepped up to contribute, volunteer and support my campaign. I look forward to continuing to serve the people of this great state.”

Kerr said through a spokeswoman Monday he will be discussing the development with friends, family and supporters before making a decision “in the next day or two.”

“Ed’s been a friend, a mentor and a great public servant for the people of CD7 — including my own family,” Kerr told Colorado Politics. “I respect his decision and the wishes of the people he works so hard for.”

A campaign spokeswoman for Baer said the candidate was out of town when the news broke and didn’t have an immediate response.

“Dan jumped into this race because he believes this is a pivotal moment, when we need energetic, fresh leadership and a positive vision,” Baer spokeswoman Laura Shunk told Colorado Politics. “Dan is away for his grandmother’s 90th birthday. Given the number of twists and turns in this race so far, we don’t have any immediate response.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post has been updated with comments from Sen. Andy Kerr, Rep. Brittany Pettersen and former ambassador Dan Baer.

— Colorado Politics reporter Ernest Luning contributed to this report.

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.


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