Rep. Ed Perlmutter drops out of Colorado governor’s race, won’t seek re-election

GOLDEN, Colo. -- Congressman Ed Perlmutter, D-Golden, announced Tuesday he is ending his run for governor of Colorado.

At a news conference, Perlmutter said the demands of running for governor and serving in Congress "is more than I can give."

Perlmutter also said he will not seek re-election to a seventh term of his House seat in the 7th Congressional District.

"For the next 18 months, my focus will continue to be to serve the people of the 7th Congressional District," Perlmutter said.

Perlmutter launched his campaign just three months ago. The decision comes a month after Democrat Rep. Jared Polis announced he would join the race.

"The fact that Ed is leaving this race seems unfortunate," political analyst Any Boian said. "In the eyes of a good number of Democratic voters, he is a formidable candidate with the chops to compete."

Perlmutter said he took a long look after Polis entered the race if he had the "fire in the belly" to run an effective campaign.

"My friend Ed Perlmutter has always been a tireless champion for working families," Polis said in a statement. "As a trusted and effective colleague, I look forward to continuing our work together for the remainder of this congressional session."

Besides Polis, Democrats remaining in the governor's race include State Sen. Mike Johnston, former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy and businessman Noel Ginsburg.

Perlmutter's front-running status has been challenged by the entry of Polis into the race. The Boulder Democrat is a multimillionaire and will have plenty of his own money to spend in the campaign.

The Republican candidates include 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler, Doug Robinson, who is the nephew of Mitt Romney, and former state legislator Victor Mitchell.

Former Sen. and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar decided not to run.