UPDATE: Peter Marcus of the Colorado Springs Gazette:
U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter is expected to announce a run for governor as early as the end of the month, ColoradoPolitics has learned.
“If it was up to me, we would announce sooner rather than later,” confirmed Perlmutter campaign consultant Steve Welchert, a high-profile Democratic strategist.
Perlmutter’s pending announcement was pushed up by news that former interior secretary and U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar will not pursue a run for governor in 2018 on the Democratic ticket.
Late last night, the Denver Post published an editorial from former Senator and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, in which Salazar makes clear that he will not run for governor:
The 2018 election for governor of Colorado is a keystone to the future greatness of Colorado. Several individuals, both Democratic and Republican, have expressed an interest in serving as governor. I will not be among them.
This has been a difficult decision, because I love Colorado. I believe I would have won an election for governor, and that I would have been a successful governor for all the people of Colorado. However, my family’s well-being must come first.
Salazar had been contemplating a run for governor for many months. Just a few weeks ago, Salazar told the Denver Post that he thought he could wait until the end of the summer to make a decision on 2018 — a timeline that was not at all realistic.
In the meantime, there has been a growing chorus of voices pushing for Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Jefferson County) to run for governor. Perlmutter had said publicly and privately that he was not interested in challenging Salazar in a potential Democratic primary, but now that this is no longer a concern, the chatter surrounding Perlmutter should start to grow exponentially.
Yes, there are other Democrats already in the race or contemplating a run — including Mike Johnston and Cary Kennedy — but Perlmutter is the juggernaut candidate that Democrats have been hoping for in 2018. Perlmutter currently represents the single most important electoral county in Colorado (Jeffco), and he has won every one of his six races for Congress by at least double digits.