DENVER – Ed Perlmutter will pull out of the race for Colorado’s governorship in 2018 just three months after he entered the race, and won’t run for re-election in Congress either.
The Denver Post was the first to report that Perlmutter was pulling out of the race early. A source close to the campaign has since confirmed to Denver7 that will be the case.
Denver7 had received a news release hours before the Post broke the story saying that Perlmutter would be hosting a Tuesday morning news conference in Golden regarding the governor’s race.
The source told Denver7 that the six-term Democratic Congressman from Arvada will step away from politics for the time being: “He just wants to be done,” the source said.
Perlmutter announced his gubernatorial candidacy at a well-attended event in Golden on April 9.
But since then, Perlmutter’s fellow Democratic Congressman, Rep. Jared Polis of Boulder, joined the race. Polis, who is independently wealthy, is expected to spend large amounts of his own money on his campaign, and there are at least two other high-profile Democrats vying for the Democratic nomination: ex-state Treasurer Cary Kennedy and former state Sen. Mike Johnston.
A host of Democrats had already announced their candidacy to try and fill Perlmutter’s seat in the state’s 7th Congressional District, including state Rep. Brittany Pettersen and state Sen. Andy Kerr.
Kerr sent a statement following the news that Perlmutter was dropping out of both races:
"Ed Perlmutter has been a friend, a mentor, and a hardworking public servant for the people of Adams and Jefferson Counties. I wish him nothing but the best in whatever path he chooses next," he said in the statement.
But the Republican crowd is also already getting crowded, with George Brauchler, Vic Mitchell and Doug Robinson among the GOP field who have declared thus far.
Robinson noted Monday that Perlmutter's exit pushes the Democratic field further to the left, as Polis is now the most well-known name in the field.
"This is a huge shift to the left in the Dem field," Robinson tweeted. "A far left candidate won't sit well with CO voters."
Perlmutter was quoted in a June 21 story by the Associated Press as being frustrated with how the Democratic Party was moving forward toward 2018 in an attempt to flip at least one of the chambers of Congress.
“Closing the gap is great, but it’s not good enough, and we have to do better,” Perlmutter told the AP.
Current Gov. John Hickenlooper, also a Democrat, will be forced out of the governorship because of term limits in 2018.
Denver7's Anne Trujillo contributed to this report.