Hot Sheet

Perlmutter’s back in the saddle — so just accept it

Author: Dan Njegomir - August 23, 2017 - Updated: August 23, 2017

Perlmutter-Announce.jpg
U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, an Arvada Democrat, announces he's running for governor of Colorado in the 2018 election on Sunday, April 9, 2017, at the Natural Grocers store in Golden. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, an Arvada Democrat, announces he’s running for governor of Colorado in the 2018 election in April. He has since pulled out of that race and declared he will seek re-election to Congress, instead. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)

Perhaps the final word on the surprise re-entry of U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter into the race for his own 7th Congressional District seat belongs to Colorado Pols, a divining rod for Democratic thinking and an insider source for developments in the party. Arguably, the seasoned and savvy blog is also a default mediator, of sorts, among competing Democratic interests.

Hence, a post Tuesday addressing potential fallout, or at least background noise in some quarters within the party, over the veteran congressman’s seemingly fickle turnabout:

… after a period of introspection, it became clear that Perlmutter’s seniority in Congress and long record of effective leadership in this district are powerful assets that serve his constituents and the state well.

So yes, he gets to do this. As we’ve said before, it’s possible that there is no one in Colorado politics today who has the political capital to pull this kind of episode off without loss of standing besides Ed Perlmutter. His decision to run again, as painful as it is to his would-be successors through no fault of their own, is therefore one that everybody on the Democratic side of the aisle is compelled to accept.

The other candidates will all get their chances, in no small part based on their graciousness today.

“Compelled to accept,” got it? A pretty definitive statement from an influential voice that, sure, is very comfortable with Perlmutter but also is close to some of the other contenders who have now dropped out of what was going to be a competitive primary. And Pols offered this blunt assessment of the one candidate who is still in:

The only other candidate still nominally remaining the Democratic CD-7 race is Dan Baer, a former Obama administration diplomat who parachuted into the race early in August:

A spokeswoman for Baer, who said he raised more than $300,000 in the two weeks after he announced his campaign Aug. 1, said Monday that he was traveling and “given the number of twists and turns in this race so far, we don’t have any immediate response.”

Whatever, Baer. The fact is, it doesn’t matter what this locally unknown come-lately candidate says at this point. For all intents and purposes the 2018 CD-7 Democratic primary is over, and Baer will just humiliate himself if he ignores that reality.

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is a blogger and opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.


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