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Erik Aadland, who won the Republican nomination in the 7th Congressional District. (Handout)

Army veteran Erik Aadland won the three-way Republican primary Tuesday in Colorado’s 7th Congressional District, beating economist Timothy Reichert and Golden resident Laurel Imer.

The Associated Press called the race for Aadland, of Pine, about 8:20 p.m. By 9:40 p.m., he had gathered 47.9% of the vote to Reichert’s 36.4% and Imer’s 15.7%.

Aadland will take on Democratic state Sen. Brittany Pettersen, of Lakewood, in the Nov. 8 general election to succeed Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, of Arvada, who is retiring after eight terms. The 7th District is newly reconfigured after last year’s once-a-decade redistricting process. It’s made up of Jefferson County along with several mountain counties to the south and west.

Cook Political Report rates the seat as likely Democratic, and Pettersen had about $649,000 in cash as of June 8 with no primary opposition. 

“I am ready to face Brittnay Pettersen in the general election and prove that Coloradans do not want the radical ideologies she is trying to force upon us,” Aadland said in a statement.

Pettersen emphasized her work in the state Senate in a statement.

“Colorado’s 7th District deserves a champion in Congress committed to standing up for reproductive rights, expanding access to health care, and fighting for working families, and I will be that champion,” she said.

In a statement, Reichert thanked his competitors and took a parting shot at Petterson.

“Despite tonight’s results, the fact remains that Brittany Pettersen is simply too radical to represent Colorado’s 7th Congressional District,” he said. “I will continue advocating for solutions that will curb inflation, reduce the cost of living and secure our borders. And, I urge all voters to join me in this fight to keep Pettersen’s progressive policies out of Washington, D.C., and from further harming Colorado families.”

Aadland spent about $453,000 on the contest, including $144,000 of his own money.

Reichert, the founder and CEO of Economic Partners, put $500,000 of his own cash into his campaign, about half of the $1.1 million he raised. Prominent Republicans including billionaire Phil Anschutz, Ralph Nagel and Bruce and Marcy Benson donated to Reichert in recent weeks.

Newly created super PAC Conservative Leadership for Colorado spent nearly $113,000 to support Reichert, while For Colorado’s Future spent approximately $84,000 opposing him and $338,000 supporting Aadland.

Sandra Fish

Special to The Colorado Sun Twitter: @fishnette