Democrats Hold Rally, Press Conference, in CD-7

Primaries are over, and now’s the time to get behind your candidates. Such was the message at a Democratic “unity rally” held this morning in Lakewood, a suburb of Denver.

On the second floor of the Clements Community Center, high profile Democrats pledged their support for Ed Perlmutter, the winner in the congressional district seven (CD-7) primaries. Attendees included Congresswoman Diana DeGette, gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter, and Perlmutter’s two competitors in the race-Peggy Lamm and Herb Rubenstein.

Standing in front of yard signs and a Colorado Democratic Party banner, DeGette moderated the press conference and congratulated all CD-7 candidates before going on to define her party in this year’s elections.

“The thing about the Democratic Party this November is that we are the party of the moderate middle,” she said. “That’s exactly what Ed Perlmutter  is going to show us and Bill Ritter is going to show us, and so many of the other candidates.”

Shortly after, Ritter spoke to Lamm and Rubenstein, thanking them for participating in the primary.

“They both worked extremely hard,” said Ritter. “They gave it their all, they gave it their energies and I want to personally thank them and I want to also congratulate them….”

When it was time for the candidates to talk, both Lamm and Rubenstein vowed their support for Perlmutter and told the audience to help him beat Rick O’Donnell, his Republican challenger.

“I wish I’d won, but the voters have spoken, the bastards,” said Lamm, jokingly.

Perlmutter spoke last, and received a standing ovation from the crowd-approximately seventy people.

“When you’re in the race, you’re contestants, you’re combatants, and it’s not a lot of fun because you’re fighting with your friends…so you learn a lot about people,” he said when talking about the hotly contested primary race.  “So with respect to this race, two people who were my friends or have become my friends will be my friends from this point on.”

Outside, a group of about fifteen protesters were standing in front of the Center, holding signs that criticized Perlmutter for his stances on Social Security reform.

“Yesterday Ed Perlmutter said on the news that he doesn’t think Social Security needs to be fixed, and we have a lot of concerns about that,” said LaDawn Sperling, a participant who did not identify her self with any specific organization. “We’re looking at Social Security and we’re paying into it now and there’s not going to be anything left for us by the time we get to retirement age.”

Lamm and Perlmutter hug.

DeGette speaks.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at

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