CD7 race recap: Perlmutter-Frazier could be a tight one

Colorado GOP insiders have long thought Ryan Frazier had potential. He’s a charismatic black moderate in a party where any one of those three is worth noticing.

Congressman Ed Perlmutter. Photos by Scot Kersgaard.
He easily won a primary over former McCain aide Lang Sias.

But can he beat incumbent Democrat Ed Perlmutter in the 7th Congressional District? Polling indicates it will be close.

Perlmutter holds a seat that even if he wins re-election again may always be coveted by Republicans.

Things have been testy, with Frazier saying Perlmutter is too liberal, and Perlmutter saying Frazier is a hypocrite who doesn’t deserve re-election to the Aurora City Council, let alone a seat in Congress.

Frazier is known for missing meetings— both at the Aurora City Council and on the board of the High Point Academy charter school he helped found. His board mates in both places say it isn’t a big deal. Former Congressman Bob Beauprez famously said during the primary — where he endorsed Sias — that Frazier needed to be fired, not promoted. Beauprez now backs Frazier.

Ryan Frazier
Frazier has repeatedly said the stimulus bill was a failure and a waste of money, which would be fine except as Perlmutter likes to point out, Frazier has benefited from the bill. High Point Academy applied for and accepted around $100,000 in stimulus funding while Frazier served as vice president of the school’s board. When this was pointed out to Frazier he said he was unaware of the school receiving the money. The City of Aurora, where Frazier serves on the council, has received nearly $20 million is stimulus funding.

The two have also sparred over energy policy and social issues.

From Perlmutter’s web site:

As the father of three daughters, I understand the unique, personal and sometimes difficult health decisions women have to make, particularly in the area of reproductive choice. I do not believe government should be involved in a woman’s reproductive health decisions, and these medical decisions should be between a woman and her doctor. However, I support efforts, including abstinence education, to inform people and reduce unintended pregnancies.

From Frazier’s web site:

As the co-founder of a public charter school, I’ve worked tirelessly to make education a priority in my community for years. I strongly believe that education is one of the most important social and economic issues our country faces today. Our world is changing rapidly and more of our students are finding themselves unprepared to enter the global marketplace as test scores, graduation rates and basic skills have all suffered despite more money being spent in the system.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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