Coffman, Perlmutter favored to hold seats in Congress

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DENVER — Despite the American public’s frustration with an ineffective Congress, two Colorado incumbents appear to be favorites to hold onto their seats, despite strong challenges and millions of dollars in outside spending.

In the two closest metro area congressional races, two fights for Denver’s surrounding suburbs, FOX31 Denver takes a final look at the candidates and their campaigns.

Colorado’s 6th Congressional District:

Congressman Mike Coffman, the Aurora Republican who saw his safe GOP district re-drawn into a toss-up seat, appears to be in good shape to hold off a challenge from Democratic state lawmaker Joe Miklosi, despite millions in outside spending by Democrats aimed at portraying Coffman as an extremist.

Miklosi, a virtual unknown outside of his Denver statehouse district, branded Coffman the “Rush Limbaugh of Colorado” and chose to make the campaign a referendum on the incumbent, rather than introducing himself and his own platform to voters in the 6th Congressional District, which now includes Aurora and parts of Douglas County.

Despite Coffman’s statement in May expressing his uncertainty about whether President Barack Obama is truly an American in his heart, the former Iraq veteran and small businessman — and Colorado’s former treasurer and secretary of state — appears likely to survive Miklosi’s challenge, based on internal polling of the race.

Colorado's 7th Congressional District:

In the 7th Congressional District, Congressman Ed Perlmutter looks like a favorite to win a fourth term over Republican Joe Coors, who has spent more than a $1 million of his own money to finance his campaign.

The race between these two former neighbors has devolved into a back-and-forth of televised attack ads, with Perlmutter hitting Coors for outsourcing jobs to Asia and Coors firing back at Perlmutter over an alleged conflict of interest, noting that the congressman's ex-wife was a lobbyist for Solyndra, which got millions in federal loan guarantees as part of the $787 billion American Recover Act Perlmutter voted to pass.

Coors, the retired former CEO of Coorstek, has run on his experience in the private sector and aimed to brand Perlmutter as a big government Democrat. Perlmutter, who beat back a challenge from Ryan Frazier by double digits in 2010 amidst a national GOP wave, has defended government investments in education, energy research -- the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is located in the district -- and healthcare, pointing to the new Veterans Administration Hospital now being built on the Fitzsimmons campus in Aurora.