2010 Elections: The Critical Race for Colorado Democrats

October 1 2010, 12:00 PM

If U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter doesn’t win re-election in the 7th Congressional District this November, his Democratic Party's fate will likely be bleak. Perlmutter, who has held the seat for two terms, is the canary in the Dems' political coalmine, political consultant Eric Sondermann tells The Denver Post: "If Ryan Frazier wins this seat, it is conclusive evidence that the House is changing hands." The district, after all, is 38 percent Democratic, 31 percent Republican, and 29 percent unaffiliated. 

Frazier joins 13 other black Republicans across the country in his run for Congress this year, the most since post-Civil War-era Reconstruction. That narrative has helped Frazier, a North Carolina native and U.S. Navy veteran who founded a local public charter school and serves on the Aurora City Council.

Frazier's campaign has been fairly standard so far. He's chided Perlmutter for voting with the Democratic majority 98 percent of the time, calling him an operative of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

The American Future Fund has already dumped some $560,000 into the race in the hopes of seeing Frazier upset Perlmutter. The amount, which includes ads and a grassroots component, is among the most the group has spent nationally, reports Politico. The money has helped Frazier stay competitive, although Perlmutter had $1.3 million cash on hand in August, while Frazier claimed just $252,000. Also running in CD7 is Libertarian candidate Buck Bailey, a retired U.S. Navy veteran from Aurora.