Briefline

State Sen. Brittany Pettersen launches campaign for Perlmutter’s congressional seat

By: - January 11, 2022 9:41 am

State Sen. Brittany Pettersen, a Democrat from Lakewood, has announced her candidacy for the 7th Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Ed Perlmutter. (Courtesy Brittany Pettersen for Colorado)

One day after longtime Rep. Ed Perlmutter’s surprise retirement announcement, the first high-profile Democratic candidate has jumped into the race for the 7th District seat as the jockeying to replace the eight-term congressman begins.

State Sen. Brittany Pettersen of Lakewood formally declared her candidacy with a filing early Tuesday morning, according to the Federal Election Commission, making official a bid that had been widely speculated upon by state political observers in the wake of Perlmutter’s announcement on Monday.

“I’ve spent the last decade fighting for working families, public schools, and small businesses,” Pettersen said in a press release. “Growing up, the odds were stacked against me, but thanks to the support of Jeffco public schools and teachers, I persevered. Now, I’m fighting to make sure future generations have that same chance.”

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Pettersen has represented Colorado Senate District 22, encompassing parts of eastern Jefferson County, since 2019. She previously served three terms as a member of the state House of Representatives.

Her campaign launches with the support of many of her Democratic colleagues at the statehouse, including state Sens. Jessie Danielson, Kerry Donovan, Julie Gonzales and Faith Winter, as well as several local elected officials in the 7th District, according to a list of endorsements released by the campaign.

During her time in office, Pettersen has focused on issues including education, equal pay, behavioral health care and substance use disorder treatment; she’s spoken often of her experiences helping her mother, Stacy, battle opioid addiction.

Pettersen previously launched a bid for the 7th District seat in 2018, when Perlmutter announced he wouldn’t seek reelection before ultimately reversing course and running for a seventh term.

The 7th District is centered on Denver’s western suburbs in Jefferson County. Its boundaries shifted significantly as a result of Colorado’s once-a-decade redistricting process last year, expanding south to include several rural mountain counties. Though the new district is slightly more competitive, data released by the redistricting commission shows it still favors Democrats by roughly seven percentage points, based on the results of recent elections.

“Congressman Perlmutter’s leadership embodies his love of our state and our country,” Pettersen said in a statement. “Colorado is lucky to have benefitted from Ed’s heart and dedication for so many years, and I am excited and ready to continue his legacy of fighting for the hardworking people of the new 7th District.”

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Chase Woodruff
Chase Woodruff

Reporter Chase Woodruff covers the environment, the economy and other stories for Colorado Newsline.

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