Obama-ap­pointed am­bas­sador joins crowded Demo­crat field

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By John Frank

A for­mer am­bas­sador ap­pointed by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama is en­ter­ing the al­ready crowded Demo­cratic con­test for the open 7th Con­gres­sional District seat.

Dan Baer, the for­mer am­bas­sador to the Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Se­cu­rity and Co­op­er­a­tion in Europe, an­nounced his can­di­dacy Tues­day for the post be­ing va­cated by Demo­cratic U.S. Rep. Ed Perl­mut­ter.

Baer, a 40-year-old Colorado na­tive, was one of a hand­ful of openly gay am­bas­sadors nom­i­nated by the Demo­cratic pres­i­dent. He said Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion pushed him to make his first bid for pub­lic of­fice.

“My hus­band turned to me on the elec­tion night and said, ‘Look, this is the piv­otal mo­ment of our gen­er­a­tion, of our era, and our team of two needs to be help­ing to Dan Baer get through this,’” Baer said in an in­ter­view with The Den­ver Post ahead of his an­nounce­ment. “And it seemed clear that it was a mo­ment to come home to the com­mu­nity who made me who I am to fig­ure out a way to be part of find­ing so­lu­tions.”

Baer is mar­ried to Brian Walsh, an en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sul­tant for the World Bank who helps de­vel­op­ing coun­tries pre­pare for cli­mate change.

He en­ters a 2018 race with three Demo­cratic state law­mak­ers: Rep. Brit­tany Pet­tersen and Sens. Andy Kerr and Do­minick Moreno.

Baer said he con­sid­ers his new­comer sta­tus as a can­di­date an ad­van­tage.

“I think they’ve all been suc­cess­ful lo­cal politi­cians, but what I hear from peo­ple as I talk to them is that they are fed up, they want some­thing dif­fer­ent,” he said.

Baer moved to Ar­vada af­ter leav­ing his post in Vi­enna. He also served as deputy as­sis­tant sec­re­tary of state for democ­racy, hu­man rights and la­bor from 2009 to 2013. He was an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor at Ge­orge­town Univer­sity’s busi­ness school.

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