Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) on Monday said he would not seek reelection, making him the twenty-sixth House Democrat to announce plans to leave the House after the current term and putting more strain on the party’s ability to keep their slim majority.
“After much thought and consideration, I have decided not to run for reelection,” Perlmutter said in a statement. “I’ve never shied away from a challenge but it’s time for me to move on and explore other opportunities. There comes a time when you pass the torch to the next generation of leaders.”
The 68-year-old has been in Congress, representing Colorado’s Seventh Congressional District, since he was first elected in 2006. However, the Cook Report projection of the state’s new congressional districts, designed in the redistricting process which happens once every ten years, showed that the district went from a D+7 to a D+3 but still projected it to be a safe Democrat seat, all of which was reported before Perlmutter announced his retirement.
After much thought and consideration, I have decided not to run for reelection. It’s been a privilege and honor of a lifetime to serve Colorado, the state I love and have always called home. pic.twitter.com/42vwPpN3cQ
— Ed Perlmutter (@Ed4Colorado) January 10, 2022
Republicans rejoiced at Perlmutter’s “smart decision” to retire.
Courtney Parella, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) — the Republican campaign arm that has been targeting the congressman — said in a statement that “Ed Perlmutter knows House Democrats won’t be in the majority after the midterm elections. He made the smart decision to retire rather than lose reelection.”
Colorado GOP chair Kristi Burton Brown said that Perlmutter “knew that he was going to lose in 2022, so instead he made the right decision to retire.”
“In 2022,” she added, “Colorado Republicans will win CD7.”
However, as Perlmutter becomes the twenty-sixth House Democrat to announce he will not seek reelection, he is one of the only eighteen Democrats to announce actual retirement from the public eye — including three committee chairs and multiple sub-committee chairs. Eight more Democrats have announced they would run for a different office, either in a local or state election.
Additionally, as the number of Democrats leaving gets higher, it casts more doubt on the Democrats’ ability to keep the House or expand their slimming majority; the deadlines to file for candidacy are getting closer in many states as the midterms approach.
Furthermore, there have been reports of Democrats struggling to find new candidates to run in some congressional districts. Some members have to run in entirely different districts or districts with only a few constituents.
There have also been rumors of more Democrats abandoning ship in the coming weeks and months leading up to the midterms, as more redistricting maps are accepted and deadlines to file for reelection loom.
“Democrats know they have a simple choice: retire or get fired,” said Congressional Leadership Fund Communications Director Calvin Moore. “Democrats’ retirement crisis has become a disaster of epic proportions because they know their failed record will cost them the Majority.”
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.