Perlmutter says he's 'not the Superman' he thought he was, leaves Colorado governor race

Leave it to the one candidate who's no longer running to break news about how much he money he raised in the second quarter of 2017. Those reports are due on Monday, but Perlmutter revealed $350,000 raised, but did not say how much cash he still had on ha

KUSA - Democratic Congressman Ed Perlmutter started to reconsider his run for Governor after fellow Rep. Steve Scalise was shot during a Congressional baseball practice last month.

Perlmutter officially dropped out of the governor's race, making it official at a news conference at his Golden office on Tuesday morning.

RELATED: The winners and losers after Perlmutter's decision to leave governor's race

Perlmutter also reiterated that he is not suddenly going to run for reelection in the 7th Congressional District, a position he’s held for more than 10 years.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've realized that the demands of running for Governor and serving in Congress were going to take more than I could give," said Perlmutter. "When you get elected, you have a contract with the folks you represent. And I thought I could do it all. I'm telling you right now, in front of all of you, I can't."

9NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger asked Perlmutter to describe the moment he realized he could not do it all.

"I'll get a little choked up. I know when (Rep.) Steve Scalise got shot, that had something to do with it. I just took a good look at things. One of my staff here, Kelly, is a tough task master when it comes to 'call time' and making the fundraising phone calls. You know, as I was doing that, I thought about it, so it's been about three or four weeks, maybe," said Perlmutter.

INTERVIEW: Perlmutter says he's not the Superman he thought he was

Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, was shot during a Congressional baseball practice in Virginia on June 14. He has been hospitalized since being shot in the hip.

Perlmutter was at a Democratic Congressional baseball practice at a different baseball field that same morning.

When news broke of his decision on Monday, a source close to the campaign also said that Perlmutter no longer appeared to be having fun.

Just to be sure, we asked about his health.

"My health is great, my wife's health is good, thank you, because some people have worried about that," said Perlmutter. "I like to have a spring in my step. I like to smile. I like to be the happy warrior and I could see that wasn't me. I could feel myself just getting a little long-faced ... Trying to do it all, I'm not quite the Superman I thought I was."

"I've been really debating this the last few weeks because part of me feels very emphatic about serving the public, serving Colorado, serving hard-working Coloradans and part of me is saying, 'Is there enough gas in the tank to do a statewide run and fulfill my commitment to the people of the 7th Congressional District?'"

Coming up next Monday, the other candidates for Governor need to disclose their fundraising totals for the second quarter spanning April to June. Perlmutter said he raised $350,000 in his race for governor, but did not say how much cash he had on hand. Raising money also played a role in his backing out of the governor's race. Perlmutter was seen as the front-runner in the Democratic gubernatorial primary until Rep. Jared Polis entered the race last month. Perlmutter said Polis' entry made him realize he lacked the "fire in the belly" to campaign for governor while serving in the House of Representatives.

Now that he's no longer running, we were curious about what happens to the money people have contributed to his campaign.

State law allows a $575 donation for the primary and another $575 for the general election.

"We'll net out our expenses from what's in the account, and then we'll do a pro-rata refund. Now, we haven't quite figured out -- because we've had a lot of very small dollar donations -- if someone gave us two or three bucks, I haven't quite figured that out. We'll get through the mechanics of that, but there will be a refund to the people who have donated to us."

ANALYSIS: Is wealth a requirement to run for a statewide office?

Next reached out to a half dozen Democratic and Republican candidates to see if they would be willing to share their second quarter fundraising totals a little early. None of the candidates were either willing or still compiling the figures.

When we called one candidate and told them who we were, their first response was "You called my personal cell phone." Note to candidates: A) We'll call you on your cell phone. B) We'll call you on your cell phone especially if you publish it on a campaign news release that you email out.

In his last 18 months as a Congressman, Perlmutter says he wants to make sure the VA hospital outside of Denver gets finished.

The Congressman had announced his candidacy for governor three months ago, saying he would be a counter to President Trump. He planned to focus on jobs, roads and education.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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