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Re-Fueled Perlmutter's Re-Entry Into Congressional Race Is Complicated

DENVER (CBS4) - Rep. Ed Perlmutter says he began second guessing his decision to not to run again for public office soon after he announced the decision a month ago.

The reason? A barrage of letters, calls and emails from supporters asking him to rethink things.

Perlmutter -- a Democrat who has served five terms in Colorado's 7th Congressional District -- says he expected some pressure after his July 11 news conference. It was then he announced he was ending his bid for governor of Colorado and wouldn't run again for Congress. But Perlmutter says he didn't expect a full court press from hundreds of Democrats and Republicans in Colorado and in Washington with pleas for him to change his mind.

"Initially I just deflected it and said no, but it just kept coming," he said.

Ed Perlmutter
Ed Perlmutter (credit: CBS)

After that July 11 announcement, Perlmutter told CBS4 he didn't "have enough gas in the tank" or "fire in the belly" to continue campaigning for office.

A month later though, he told CBS4: "I was attributing being completely out of gas to not wanting to do it anymore. But I know I do."

Perlmutter is now re-fueled so to speak, but his re-entry into the race is complicated. Four Democrats decided to run for his Congressional seat in April after he said he was running for governor.

"I know this was going to goof them up and I don't feel good about that," he said.

State Sen. Dominick Moreno and state Rep. Brittany Pettersen now say they are exiting the race and will remain in the Colorado legislature. State Sen. Andy Kerr, who is term limited, and Dan Baer, a form U.S. ambassador, are still in.

Ed Perlmutter
Ed Perlmutter (credit: CBS)

Perlmutter says he knows he's not the only guy who can do the job, but "Because of things like North Korea or Charlottesville and big issues like health care and things like that, the fact that I have relationships with Democrats and Republicans here and in Washington … that experience will come in handy right now because it's a very topsy turvy time in American history."

Perlmutter is the ranking member of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance and as such he says he is very involved in the country's response to North Korea's recent threats. He says that also played heavily into his decision to seek a sixth term in the House of Representatives.

The National Republican Congressional Committee was quick to react to Perlmutter's announcement. They said the following:

"Given Ed's apparent willingness to say and do anything to further his own ambition, it's clear Colorado can neither trust nor respect Perlmutter."

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