Obama-appointed ambassador joins crowded Democrat field
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.