PERL­MUT­TER TO DROP OUT OF COLORADO GOVER­NOR’S RACE

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Mark K. Matthews

U.S. Rep. Ed Perl­mut­ter plans to an­nounce Tues­day that he will end his run for Colorado gover­nor just three months af­ter the Ar­vada Demo­crat be­gan it, ac­cord­ing to three sources close to the cam­paign.

WASHINGTON» U.S. Rep. Ed Perl­mut­ter plans to an­nounce Tues­day that he will end his run for Colorado gover­nor just three months af­ter the Ar­vada Demo­crat be­gan it, ac­cord­ing to three sources close to the cam­paign.

The sixth-term law­maker also won’t seek re-elec­tion in Colorado’s 7th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict; a move likely to bring a sigh of re­lief to the three Demo­cratic state law­mak­ers who al­ready have de­clared for his left-lean­ing seat, which in­cludes the Den­ver sub­urbs of Thorn­ton and Lake­wood.

Perl­mut­ter’s cam­paign did not pro­vide a rea­son for his exit — telling re­porters in a vague state­ment only that he planned to hold a news con­fer­ence Tues­day “re­gard­ing the gu­ber­na­to­rial race.”

The an­nounce­ment will be in Golden, where Perl­mut­ter first launched his gover­nor’s cam­paign in April with the goal of “build­ing an even stronger econ­omy and a more se­cure mid­dle class with good-pay­ing jobs, af­ford­able higher ed­u­ca­tion and a se­cure re­tire­ment.”

Perl­mut­ter’s sur­prise de­ci­sion comes at a time of ma­jor up­heaval in the 2018 race to re­place out­go­ing Demo­cratic Gov. John Hick­en­looper. It’s also be­ing made pub­lic just days be­fore gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­dates are re­quired to file their fundrais­ing hauls for the past three months — of­ten a sig­nif­i­cant sign of a cam­paign’s vi­a­bil­ity.

Top-tier can­di­dates in the Demo­cratic and Repub­li­can par­ties have thrown their hats in the ring. Notable is the re­cent en­try of Demo­cratic U.S. Rep. Jared Po­lis of Boul­der, a long­time Perl­mut­ter col­league in Con­gress.

Po­lis, a mul­ti­mil­lion­aire law­maker, has the means to in­vest heav­ily in his own cam­paign. That ad­van­tage is com­pounded by Colorado’s strict lim­its on fundrais­ing — which are far be­low fed­eral caps — and the re­al­ity that Perl­mut­ter would have to com­pete for a lim­ited pool of pri­mary donors with other Demo­cratic can­di­dates, such as for­mer state Trea­surer Cary Kennedy and for­mer state Sen. Mike John­ston.

An­other po­ten­tial fac­tor in Perl­mut­ter’s de­ci­sion is the pos­si­ble en­try of Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, which would add an­other high­pow­ered Demo­cratic com­peti­tor.

Whichever can­di­date emerges from the Demo­cratic pri­mary then would have to face a Repub­li­can op­po­nent in a con­test that is all but cer­tain to draw na­tional money and at­ten­tion.

What hap­pens next for Perl­mut­ter is an open ques­tion, as the Colorado na­tive has been a sta­ple of state pol­i­tics. He served in Colorado’s Se­nate for sev­eral years be-

fore join­ing Con­gress in 2007.

In the House, Perl­mut­ter has been an ad­vo­cate for NASA, and he played a role in help­ing to build a new VA hospi­tal in Aurora. The project, which re­mains un­fin­ished, has been be­set with prob­lems, and Perl­mut­ter later would crit­i­cize the U.S. De­part­ment of Veter­ans Af­fairs for its mis­man­age­ment.

More re­cently, Perl­mut­ter has taken steps to ap­peal to the Demo­cratic base, and he was one of sev­eral law­mak­ers who brief- ly con­sid­ered a for­mal chal­lenge to the 2016 vic­tory of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump. Perl­mut­ter also backed a dark-horse chal­lenger to Nancy Pelosi as the top Demo­crat in the House.

But sources close to his cam­paign con­firmed he would not seek re-elec­tion in the House. That race al­ready has at­tracted can­di­dates such as Demo­cratic state Sens. Andy Kerr and Do­minick Moreno and state Rep. Brit­tany Pet­tersen.

“Ed Perl­mut­ter has been a friend, a men­tor and a hard­work­ing pub­lic ser­vant for the peo­ple of Adams and Jef­fer­son coun­ties,” Kerr said. “I wish him noth­ing but the best in what­ever path he chooses next.”

Joe Amon, The Den­ver Post

Rep. Ed Perl­mut­ter also won’t seek re­elec­tion in Colorado’s 7th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict.

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