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Who will fill Perlmutter’s super-chunky shoes – The Denver Post

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Who will fill Perlmutter’s super-chunky shoes – The Denver Post

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The announcement of the retirement of Congressman Ed Perlmutter sent political shock waves through Colorado and Washington DC.

I knew Perlmutter long before we served together in the Colorado Legislature and have followed his career closely. I understand what it means to campaign and serve, and Perlmutter has always been one of the best.

Colorado owes him a debt of gratitude.

Perlmutter’s legacy is to complete the VA Medical Center, expand renewable energy research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and help grow our aerospace economy.

But Perlmutter will focus on the moving stories where it made a difference in people’s lives. Although it never made the headlines, Perlmutter has always been approachable and has fought hard for everyday coloradans.

He was also like a great coach who deepened the Colorado Democrats’ bench. Among others, President Alec Garnett, Rep. Dylan Roberts, Rep. Chris Kennedy and former Senator Cheri Jahn, each started their political careers working for Perlmutter.

And, contrary to statements by Colorado GOP President Kristi Burton Brown, Perlmutter did not retire because he was going to lose his next election.

Neither Republican candidate Erik Aadland nor Laurel Imer could have overthrown Perlmutter.

In 2020, Perlmutter gained almost 22 percentage points. Perlmutter has won every double-digit re-election bid. In the last campaign report he filed, Perlmutter had $ 993,416 on hand, a considerable war chest in every way. Cook’s political report saw his as a solid seat for Democrats.

However, with Perlmutter’s retirement, the 7th Congressional District joins Colorado’s new 8th Congressional District as a highly competitive race the nation will be watching closely.

The newly redesigned district is anchored in Jefferson County. Over 72% of the district’s population lives in Jeffco and 10% of the district’s population resides in Broomfield.

Due to the integration of several more rural and mountainous jurisdictions – including Lake, Park, Teller, Chaffee, Fremont and Custer counties – Democrats only have a 2.4 percentage point advantage (28 , 2% Democrat against 25.8% Republican) among registered voters active in the district. Based on their analysis, FiveThirtyEight reduced the district’s Democratic trend by nine points – from 15 to just 6 – based on the new map.

Perlmutter said it was time to “pass the torch to the next generation of leaders” and within 24 hours of the announcement Democratic State Senator Brittany Pettersen became the first leading Democrat to announce her candidacy . Pettersen focused on behavioral health and education issues during his impressive 10-year legislative tenure. She is also ahead of the game with approximately $ 45,000 remaining from her three-month tenure in Congress in 2018.

Pettersen, who is the wife of Denver Post columnist and Liberal campaign strategist Ian Silverii, is unlikely to be the last Democrat to run.

Jefferson County Commissioner Leslie Dahlkemper would be a serious challenger if she decides to run. Dahlkemper has been elected twice in Jefferson County. First in 2011 at the Jefferson County School Board, then as Jefferson County Commissioner in 2018. Dahlkemper, who sits on the Colorado Fire Commission, has focused his efforts on reducing the risk of wildfires, putting it in close contact with some of the mountain towns that have been added to this district.

Other important and formidable names who would be interested in a potential race include State Representatives Brianna Titone and Monica Duran. Titone, a two-term Arvada representative, toppled a Red District that no one expected her to win. Duran – the House Majority Co-Whip – hails from a district located entirely within Jefferson County.

The big question is whether Perlmutter will try to put his finger on the scales in the Democratic primary. In addition to its approval, Perlmutter could transfer some or all of its large campaign funds to other candidates.

Because that seat has now grown from a secure seat to a lean Democratic seat associated with the mid-term political landscape that benefits Republicans, the Republican Congressional National Committee will certainly make it a high priority and battleground seat.

To win, the Republican candidate cannot win the battle for the Republican nomination and lose the general election war by either embracing the big lie or pushing the Trump narrative. Unaffiliated voters in the district, who represent 44% of active registered voters, want credible candidates who focus on economic and education issues.

State Representative Colin Larson R-Ken Caryl fits the bill and is expected to announce his candidacy. Larson, a small business owner, was elected to House District 22 in 2018. Larson is a curator who has also supported bipartisan legislation such as funding full-time kindergarten and increasing mental health resources. He is highly regarded and respected, and would likely be the Republican frontrunner.

Another formidable candidate for the Republican nomination would be former State Representative Lang Sias. Sias, who was on Walker Stapleton’s ticket for governor in 2018, has already declared his candidacy for state treasurer but is reportedly considering running for that open seat.

There are certainly others who are taking a look.

One thing is certain, whoever wins has big shoes to fill.

Doug Friednash is a Denver native, a partner at Brownstein Hyatt Farber and Schreck law firm, and former chief of staff to Governor John Hickenlooper.

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Who will fill Perlmutter’s super-chunky shoes – The Denver Post

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