Rep. Ed Perlmutter to Retire;
Yesterday’s FL-20 Special

Colorado’s Congressional redistricting map (click on image or here to go to the Dave’s Redistricting App’s interactive Colorado map)

By Jim Ellis

Jan. 12, 2022 — Colorado US Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Arvada) announced Monday that he will not stand for a ninth congressional term later this year, becoming the 26th Democratic House member not to seek re-election in 2022.

The Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission changed the 7th District toward the Republicans’ direction meaning Perlmutter, still favored to retain his seat, would have seen a much more competitive general election in addition to representing much more rural territory in the Centennial State’s central region.

CO-7 appears to be the second-most competitive district in the state’s eight-member delegation. Only the new 8th District, which contains a significant portion of the current 7th CD, is more competitive and already considered a toss-up district. Colorado was awarded a new seat in reapportionment largely because of its position as the nation’s sixth fastest growing state during the previous decade according to the 2020 Census Bureau population growth analysis.

The current 7th District lies wholly within Jefferson and Adams Counties, but the new 7th stretches to include parts of ten other counties while retaining only a sliver of its Adams County base. The 7th’s anchor population, more than 521,000 individuals, still resides in Jefferson County, commonly referred to as Jeffco.

The Dave’s Redistricting App statistical site calculates that Democrats historically receive 51.7 percent of the vote as compared to the Republicans’ 43.8 percent in the new 7th CD. The redistricting commission analysis of eight past elections finds the Democrats to have a 6.9 percent advantage in the new district, while winning all eight of the tested contests but generally with small margins.

The FiveThirtyEight statistical site rates the new 7th District as a D+6. Under the previous map, the 7th District was a stronger D+15 and supported President Biden with a 60-37 percent margin.

Prior to his election to Congress, Perlmutter served eight years in the Colorado state Senate. He announced his gubernatorial candidacy in the 2018 election cycle, but withdrew before the filing period concluded and instead ran for re-election.

The open 7th District will begin with a Lean Democratic rating, but this could become a competitive open seat race once candidates begin to surface and form viable campaigns.

FL-20

The long-awaited end to the FL-20 vacancy occurred yesterday as the special general election to replace the late Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Delray Beach), who passed away in April, took place.

Businesswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick won the special Democratic primary on Nov. 2 with just a five-vote margin over Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness — defeating him 11,662 to 11,657 — as the two placed first and second among a field of 11 Democratic candidates within a total turnout of just under 50,000 voters.

In Florida’s 20th District, which lies between West Palm Beach and Miami and touches Ft. Lauderdale, the Democratic primary is tantamount to election. Therefore, the special general election was merely the culmination of what became clear as soon as the election authorities certified that Cherfilus-McCormick had won the party nomination with her razor-thin margin, some two weeks after counting began. The Democratic nominee will spend over $6 million to win election to the seat, almost $4 million of which came from her own fortune.

For his part, Holness has contested the election and has already announced that he will challenge Cherfilus-McCormick in the regular 2022 Democratic primary scheduled for Aug. 23. Therefore, she will have only a short time representing the district before again becoming embroiled in a contested primary campaign.

The Republican nominee is advertising agency owner Jason Mariner who had raised just over $104,000 at the pre-primary campaign finance disclosure deadline. With an electorate that voted 77-22 percent for President Biden and 80-18 percent for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016, there was little doubt as to how last night’s counting would unfold.

The Dave’s Redistricting App statistical site calculates that Democrats historically receive 77.1 percent of the vote as compared to the Republicans’ 22.1 percent, while the FiveThirtyEight statistical site rates the current 20th District as a D+53.

It is probable that Florida will be the last state to complete their redistricting largely because of the lateness of their regular primary election. Therefore, the new district boundaries remain uncertain.

Cherfilus-McCormick will be sworn into the House upon the Florida Secretary of State certifying her election.

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