Perl to run for Denver Clerk and Recorder

Peg Perl, who spent more than five years at Colorado Ethics Watch, is throwing her hat into the ring for elected office.

Perl today told The Colorado Independent she intends to run for the office of Denver Clerk and Recorder, to succeed Debra Johnson, who announced today she would not run for a third term. 

Johnson was first elected as Denver Clerk and Recorder in 2011 and re-elected in 2015. Under Denver law, elected officials can run for three four-year terms. The Clerk and Recorder handles marriage licenses, maintains records on city contracts and Denver City Council, and runs elections. 

The election will take place in *May, 2019.

Perl  said her career has been focused on “increasing citizen participation in democracy” at the federal, state and local level. Running for the Clerk and Recorder position would give her an opportunity “to be a champion for people inside of city government.”

Perl served as senior counsel for Ethics Watch from 2012 to June of 2017. She left to start up DemocracyTNG, a public policy and democracy education consulting firm for nonprofit organizations and civic groups.

Perl obtained a law degree from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. She has worked at the federal, state and local level, beginning with a decade in Washington, D.C. law in nonpartisan policy counsel positions with the U.S. House of Representatives Ethics Committee and the Federal Election Commission.

She is a familiar sight at the state capitol, working on legislation that addresses the state’s open records law and campaign finance, as well as changes to election laws. She is a volunteer with the Women’s Lobby of Colorado, and has advocated for legislation on paid family leave; and she is also program manager for Courts Matter Colorado a coalition of more than 25 progressive organizations that focuses public education and advocacy tied to federal court decisions and judicial vacancies in Colorado. She also was a constant presence at the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission, which she monitored on behalf of Ethics Watch. In May, Perl was named one of Colorado’s top women lawyers by Law Week.

Perl said she currently is meeting with citizens and community leaders to learn about their experiences with the clerk and recorder’s office and how those services can be improved and modernized.

Correction: an earlier version stated the election is in November, 2019.

Photo courtesy of Peg Perl, DemocracyTNG
has been a political journalist since 1998. She covered the state capitol for the Silver & Gold Record from 1998 to 2009 and for The Colorado Statesman in 2010-11 and 2013-14. Since 2010 she also has covered the General Assembly for newspapers in northeastern Colorado. She was recognized with awards from the Colorado Press Association for feature writing and informational graphics for her work with the Statesman in 2012.