As the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Peter Marcus reports, the announcement that Rep. Ed Perlmutter will run for governor of Colorado in 2018 is sparking movement upward by Jefferson County Democrats who have been eager for a chance to move up–with two strong candidates announcing or about to announce runs for Perlmutter’s open seat:
Lakewood Democrats Brittany Pettersen, a state representative, and Andy Kerr, a state senator, quickly announced their intentions to run in the 7th Congressional District, with the hopes of keeping the seat in Democratic control.
“Too many families in Colorado are facing tough times and we need leaders who understand those challenges,” Pettersen said in a statement. “When it comes to good schools for Colorado kids, access to health care for everyone and protecting seniors from cuts to Social Security, I’ll stand up to Donald Trump and fight for regular people.”
“Ed has a been a friend, a mentor, and a role model for public service,” Kerr added. “And yes, I will be entering the race for his congressional seat, with a formal announcement soon.”
Rep. Brittany Pettersen and Sen. Andy Kerr are well-positioned to run for Perlmutter’s congressional seat, with legislative constituencies in the heart of suburban Jeffco that give them both a leg up on name identification. It’s possible that other candidates may consider a bid for the Democratic CD-7 nomination–including Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp of Westminster, whose swing district offers similar benefits in this race for name recognition, as well as Sen. Dominick Moreno of Commerce City.
Perlmutter has proven a master at campaigning in CD-7 since winning a hotly-contested three way primary for the seat in 2006, consistently outperforming other Democratic candidates overlapping his district and making Republican attempts to recapture the seat look like a fool’s errand. On paper the district is more competitive than Perlmutter’s easy wins suggest, so it will be interesting to see who can win the right to fill his shoes–and whether they can hold the seat by the margins Perlmutter has always enjoyed.
Depending on what happens in the gubernatorial race, this could be 2018’s hottest Democratic primary. We’ll be watching it closely.