Faegre Drinker law partner Brad Dempsey is jumping into the 7th Congressional District contest, joining three other Republicans vying for the nomination in the open seat.
Dempsey, of Arvada, isn’t a known political quantity. But he’s working with Convergence Media, a GOP consulting firm that did work for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the Congressional Leadership Fund and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in 2021.
In his announcement, Dempsey noted that he’s lived in the 7th District all his life.
“With roots running from Lakewood to Leadville, our family’s values are based on fifty years of living here,” he said in a news release. “My mission in Congress will be to protect and support my neighbors, Colorado small businesses, ranchers and families working each day in the 7th CD to write the next chapter of American prosperity, security and strength in this district.”
The 7th District was reconfigured in redistricting last year and now stretches from Jefferson County south into Chaffee County, and west into the mountains, including Lake, Fremont and Park counties. The district is forecast to favor Democrats by 7 percentage points, and Cook Political Report rates it a likely Democratic seat. But Republicans see the seat as a potential target.
Incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, of Arvada, is retiring after 16 years in Congress.
State Sen. Brittany Pettersen is the likely Democratic nominee, racking up endorsements from Perlmutter and other Democrats in the Colorado congressional delegation and state legislature.
Also running on the Republican side are Eric Aadland, an Army veteran who lives in Pine, Economic Partners CEO Tim Reichert of Golden, and Golden resident Laurel Imer, who was a 2020 Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention. Aadland and Reichert are collecting petition signatures to get on the June 28 primary ballot, as Dempsey is expected to do.
Like the other GOP candidates, Dempsey doesn’t have extensive political experience. But Matt Dempsey, one of his three brothers, worked for former Republican Gov. Bill Owens and former U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard. Dempsey specializes in bankruptcy law. His only federal political donations in recent years were to the law firm’s political action committee.