Szabo, Ytterberg among names floated for GOP nod for CD7

From left to right, top row: Szabo, Ytterberg, Kerr; bottom row: Sias, Pettersen, Moreno

With Wednesday’s entrance of state Sen. Andy Kerr of Lakewood into the race for the 7th Congressional District, the field is filling fast. But there are more names to come.

Kerr was the second Democrat to take the plunge for the seat this week. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Golden announced Sunday he is running for the 2018 Democratic nomination for governor. An avid cyclist, Kerr announced his run with a three-minute video that featured him riding through Red Rocks and watching the road, rather than the camera.

Kerr has served 11 years in the General Assembly, four years in the House and the last seven in the Senate. He is term-limited in 2018. 

A few hours after Perlmutter’s Sunday announcement, state Rep. Brittany Pettersen of Lakewood announced she would also seek the Democratic nod for the 2018 primary. Pettersen is in her fifth year in the House and is chair of the House Education Committee.

There’s at least one other person on the Democratic side thinking about the race: state Sen. Dominick Moreno of Commerce City. But Moreno said he won’t make a final decision about a run until after the legislative session ends on May 10.

“The primary is 15 months away,” Moreno told The Colorado Independent Thursday. “I’m not getting into an arms race” for who gets into the race first. “My community sent me here to do a job and I won’t put personal pursuits” above that job.

On the Republican side, three names have surfaced for the nomination: former Jeffco GOP Chair Don Ytterberg of Golden, Rep. Lang Sias of Arvada and Jeffco County Commissioner Libby Szabo, also of Arvada. None of the three have officially announced an intention to run.

Sias said Thursday he’s a definite “no. Has my phone been ringing with people asking me to run? Yes.” But Sias said he has young children to consider, and he’s focused on his work at the state Capitol.

Szabo did not return multiple calls for comment on whether she’s considering a run, but sources both inside and outside the GOP confirmed she’s thinking about it.

Ytterberg says he’s definitely thinking about it. He challenged Perlmutter in 2014, losing by 10 percent of the vote. “I am interested,” he told The Independent Thursday. “We had a good run in 2014 and I think it bodes well for the future.”