Voters in Jefferson and Adams counties granted the 7th Congressional District incumbent, Democrat Ed Perlmutter, a fourth term in congress Nov. 6, by …
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Voters in Jefferson and Adams counties granted the 7th Congressional District incumbent, Democrat Ed Perlmutter, a fourth term in congress Nov. 6, by a strong margin over Republican rival Joe Coors.
“We did just about everything we could to get our message out in mail and TV,” Perlmutter said Tuesday. “When you run against someone as well known as Coors, with his kind of resources, it makes it a formidable race.”
The Coors campaign manager Michelle Yi reported that Coors gave his concession speech shortly before 10 p.m., and called Perlmutter to congratulate him.
“We ran a spirited campaign. Joe thanked everyone for their support and voting with their hearts,” Yi said.
Coors is the great-grandson of brewery founder Adolph Coors. His first political ads of the season introduced himself to voters by saying that he was not a beer. He is the former CEO of CoorTek, an international ceramic manufacturing company. As the Republican Party candidate, he ran on a business-friendly platform, criticizing Perlmutter about his support of the 2008 stimulus package and the Affordable Health Care Act. His brother Pete Coors made an unsuccessful run for senate in 2004.
Yi said Coors would take things “one day at a time,” when asked what his future plans might be.
Perlmutter, 59, is a lawyer by trade. He had previously served two four-year terms representing Jefferson County in the State Senate.
Perlmutter said his major goals after re-election included seeing the Aurora VA Hospital completed, and extending the wind energy tax credit.
“The main thing is that I continue to work with Democrats and Republicans to move this country forward.”
American Constitution candidate Douglas “Dayhorse” Campbell and Libertarian candidate Buck Bailey both earned around 3 percent of the vote.
Bailey said he was disappointed that third party candidates were not invited to candidate debates, like they were two years ago, when he also ran.
“Well, I don’t know about (running) next time around. It really comes down to the big money, and not having to work for a living while you campaign,” Bailey said.
Combined, the top two candidates spent more than $6.8 million.
Much of the money in this race has gone toward a flurry of TV ads from both sides. Perlmutter’s campaign received high marks from ad watchers for an ad featuring a retired Navy SEAL and his wife.
The Perlmutter camp also inadvertently provided the footage for the Coors campaign’s funniest ad. Outtakes from a Perlmutter ad were posted to YouTube, allowing Coors staffers to add a sarcastic voiceover and captions.
Coors began the televised portion of his campaign early with his “Not a beer” ad campaign. One attack ad by Coors, which criticized Perlmutter for his ex-wife’s participation in lobbying for Solyndra, was named one of the five worst political ads of campaign season by USA Today.
The Coors and Perlmutter families have a long history as neighbors in the Applewood neighborhood of Congressional District 7. Coors and Perlmutter’s father were next-door neighbors for years. Perlmutter hired one of Coors daughters to his law firm.
When asked if the mudslinging in the campaign may have done permanent damage to the relationship, Perlmutter said he didn’t think so.
“Come tomorrow we’ll each shake it off. We’ll still be neighbors. I waved at Joe driving down his street the other day, and he waved back.”
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