DENVER – U.S. Congressman Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., says he’s taken time to “regroup and recharge” and will again seek re-election to Colorado’s 7th Congressional District in 2018.
It’s been a back-and-forth few months for the Congressman from Denver, who is currently in the midst of his sixth term.
In April, he announced he would be running for governor of Colorado in 2018 in an effort to replace John Hickenlooper, who will be term-limited.
But fellow Congressman Jared Polis entered the race, as did a host of others, and in early July, Perlmutter pulled out of the race for governor.
At the time, he also said he wouldn’t seek re-election to Congress, and cited the June shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise at a congressional baseball practice as reasons that running again would, as he said, “be a tough row to hoe.”
"There are a lot of good people in my race, too many, actually. We have three good candidates, and you really only need one," Perlmutter said at the time. "Sometimes you need to move on and somebody else needs to bring in new insights."
But he told Denver7’s Anne Trujillo on Politics Unplugged last week that he was reconsidering his decision to pull out of the race. He said “a lot of people” had asked him to reconsider running, that he was looking at his options, and that he enjoyed being able to accomplish some of the things he’s done as a Congressman.
On Monday, he made it official.
"Over the last few weeks a lot has happened, both for me and in the world. I’ve taken some time to regroup and recharge, and in so doing I’ve had many meaningful conversations with friends, neighbors, supporters and family who have encouraged me to run again. I have appreciated each and every conversation. It has made me take time to reflect on the future. And I’ve come to the conclusion to run again for re-election to ask the hardworking people of the 7th district to once again put their trust in me to be their voice in Washington," Perlmutter said in a statement.
"I care deeply for our state and I love my home which is here in the 7th district,” he continued.
He said he had already spoken with Andy Kerr, Brittany Pettersen and Dominick Moreno about his decision, and had “corresponded with” Dan Baer—the four Democrats who had been vying for his open seat. No Republicans had declared to run for the seat as of Monday.
“They are all wonderful people and I know for them and some others my decision is not convenient or well timed, for which I’m sorry,” Perlmutter said.
“But I know I have more to do and more to give to the people of the 7th district. I understand this is not an ideal situation - I really do - but I know we can all work together to fight for our Colorado way of life."
Kerr sent a statement to Denver7 saying he respected Perlmutter’s decision.
“Ed’s been a friend, a mentor and a great public servant for the people of CD7 – including my own family,” he said. “I respect his decision and the wishes of the people he works so hard for.”
Pettersen issued a statement Monday afternoon saying she was suspending her campaign and endorsing Perlmutter.
"While I'm disappointed I will not have the opportunity to serve our community in Congress, I know that the people of the 7th district will continue to be well represented by Ed Perlmutter,” she said. “I am so proud and humbled by the support of the people across Colorado who believed in me and stepped up to contribute, volunteer, and support my campaign. I look forward to continuing to serve the people of this great state."
Moreno also suspended his campaign and endorsed Perlmutter upon learning Perlmutter would seek re-election.
“We continue to be in great hands with Congressman Perlmutter,” Moreno said. “Thank you to the many people who supported me along this journey. My time serving our community does not end with our campaign suspending, and I remain committed to standing up for our values in the State Senate.”
Baer was traveling Monday, and a spokesperson for his campaign issued a statement to Denver7 Monday afternoon.
"Dan jumped into this race because he believes this is a pivotal moment, when we need energetic, fresh leadership and a positive vision," the spokesperson, Laura Shunk, said. "Dan is away for his grandmother's 90th birthday. Given the number of twists and turns in this race so far, we don't have any immediate response."
Pettersen led the pack in early fundraising as of July., according to the Denver Post.
Perlmutter defeated Republican George Athanasopoulos last year, 55.2 percent to 39.8 percent, and he’s won each election since 2006 by at least 11 percentage points.
This is a developing news story; stay posted to Denver7 for updates.