Pettersen Aadland

7th Congressional District candidates State Sen. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, left, and Pine Republican Erik Aadland

Democrat Brittany Pettersen has defeated Republican Erik Aadland in Colorado's 7th Congressional District, according to the Associated Press.

The candidates were vying to represent the Jefferson County-based district, which has been represented since 2007 by U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, the Arvada Democrat who announced in January that he isn't seeking another term.

As of Thursday, Pettersen, a state senator from Lakewood, won 56.8% of the vote to 41% for Aadland, a decorated Army veteran and former project manager in the oil and gas industry. Libertarian Ross Klopf had 1.7% and Unity Party nominee Christopher "Critter" Milton had 0.5%.

The Democratic-leaning district includes almost all of Jefferson County and Broomfield along with six mountain counties — Park, Lake, Chaffee, Teller, Fremont and Custer — and tiny slivers of a few other counties. Democrats hold an advantage among the seat's active, registered voters, and the party's candidates have outperformed Republican nominees by an average of 6.9 points in recent benchmark statewide elections, according to an analysis by the state's independent redistricting commission.

While the contest was targeted early in the cycle by both national parties, neither Democrats nor Republicans spent heavily in the race.

Pettersen was unopposed for her party's nomination. Aadland, who switched to the congressional race in December after spending much of last year seeking the GOP nomination for Colorado's U.S. Senate seat, faced off against fellow first-time candidate Tim Reichert, an economist and business owner, and former legislative candidate Laurel Imer in the June primary.

Through the Oct. 19 pre-election fundraising period, Pettersen had raised roughly twice what Aadland brought in, with $2.6 million in receipts compared to the Republican's $1.3 million.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.