Aurora City Council member Ryan Frazier officially announced Thursday that he is dropping his race for the Colorado Senate to challenge Rep. Ed Perlmutter in the states 7th District, after reports of the switch surfaced earlier this week.
In a statement release from his campaign Frazier said:
"It's time to re-energize the people's House with new leadership and better solutions. The 7th Congressional District represents the right path, right now to do my part in helping make America better."
CQ Politics reports:
Frazier kicked off his Senate campaign in April to some national attention. One of a handful of Republicans challenging Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet, Frazier was bidding to become only the second black Republican senator since the Reconstruction era more than a century ago.
His departure from the Senate race is an acknowledgment of the strength of the recently announced Republican candidacy of Jane Norton, a former lieutenant governor who is the best-known GOP candidate in a crowded primary field.
Frazier has a much better chance of securing the Republican nomination in the 7th District, though he would face a sturdy opponent in Perlmutter, who won a second term in 2008 with 63 percent of the vote in a district that voted more strongly for Barack Obama (59 percent) than did the state at large (54 percent).
Thursday morning, prior to Frazier's official announcement, the Denver Post reported:
Frazier could be the first serious Republican challenger Perlmutter has faced since winning his first hard-fought election in 2006, according to Denver pollster Floyd Ciruli.
The other Republican in the race is Brian Campbell, who has been active in anti-tax tea party organizing.
Westword wrote that immediately following Frazier's announcement the Colorado Democratic Party attacked Frazier in a release.
Chairwoman Pat Waak dismissing him as a "job-shopper" whose decision to switch targets "smacks of political opportunism."
This slap doesn't surprise Colorado House minority leader Mike May, who introduced Frazier at the event. "I know they're trying to be dismissive, but the Perlmutter folks sure showed up in force. They were waving Perlmutter signs along the street," he says. "They must be concerned, or they would have ignored him. Apparently, they don't think their candidate is invincible."