Veteran state lawmaker and Democrat Brittany Peterson announced Tuesday that she is competing to replace Rep. Ed Perlmutter in the US House, entering a race that favors Democrats little but faces a bitter national political climate. Beach could prove to be interestingly competitive.
“It is more important than ever to get good people elected to office,” said the state senator from Lakewood, who also served in the state House. “When I look at the threats to the fabric of our democracy, the stakes couldn’t be higher.”
Patterson, 40, is by far the most prominent Democrat to go after the 7th Congressional District seat, which Perlmutter has held since 2007. He announced on Monday that he plans to retire when his term ends in January 2023.
In his 10 years of service in the state legislature, Paterson said several issues became serious for him: mental health, gun safety, education, and opioid addiction. Her mother became “extremely addicted” to pain pills after her back hurt and it took years to get the treatment she needed.
“It was through my life experiences that I saw how completely broken our behavioral service system was,” Peterson said. “I have taken my story to fight for others.”
He is also proud of his work getting Colorado’s Red Flag Gun Bill passed in 2019. The controversial bill created a legal framework for judges to order the removal of firearms from people they consider at risk of harming themselves or others.
“When I was a kid, we had fire drills,” Peterson said. “My son is going to grow up with massive shooter practice — and that’s unacceptable.”
Patterson is married to Ian Silvery, who writes an opinion column for The Denver Post. They have a 1 year old son.
Peterson made a short-lived attempt to run for the 7th Congressional District in 2017, when Perlmutter set his eyes on the Colorado governor’s office. But he and others abandoned their plans when Perlmutter dropped out of the gubernatorial race and returned to his Congressional seat.
According to the Colorado Redistribution Commission’s analysis of recent past polls, mobility in the 7th District is about 7% in favor of the Democrats. But the district would be different than it is today under Perlmutter, as redistribution efforts last year pulled its borders to include parts of several conservative mountain counties to the south and west, such as Chaffee, Fremont and Custer.
But the bulk of the district is centered on population-rich Jefferson County, which has turned increasingly blue in recent election cycles. And it has been the home of the Patersons all their lives.
“I will bring the same focus that I have always brought, working on issues that affect regular people,” she said.
There are no other declared Democrats in the race so far, and state Representative Chris Kennedy told The Post on Tuesday that speculation about his entry into the race was false. He is supporting Patterson.
So far two Republicans – Eric Edland and Laurel Immer – have announced their candidacy. GOP State Rep. Colin Larson told The Post this week that he would decide on a run for the seat next week.