John Aguilar profiles the contest in the redrawn 7th Congressional district which presents familiar but combustible 2022 issues of inflation, abortion, crime, and election denial with two new candidates in an open seat. Although Washington-based pundits rate the district “lean” or “likely” Democratic, it is still Colorado’s second most competitive race.
I offered that the Republican candidate will have to be aggressive on issues of crime and inflation. Democrat Brittany Pettersen has at least two big advantages over Republican Erik Aadland – 13,000 more registered Democrats and nearly 3 times more money to spend as of the end of June.
Congressional District 7 Democratic candidate Brittany Pettersen, center, speaks to supporters during a campaign event at Holidaily Brewing Company on Sept. 11, 2022, in Golden. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)
Floyd Ciruli, director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Denver, said Aadland will have to hit his opponent hard on the issue of rising crime.
"She has to deal with it – it will be one of the issues that every Democrat will have to deal with," he said.
Erik Aadland, GOP contender for Colorado’s 7th Congressional District goes door to door meeting with potential voters on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Golden. (Photo by Chet Strange/Special to the Denver Post)
The other big opening for Aadland in the race, Ciruli said, is inflation.
The New York Times reported that prices at the grocery store, where consumers feel it most, have soared 13.5 percent in the last year – the sharpest spike since Jimmy Carter was in the White House.
“(Aadland) will need to go on the offense with his issues, especially inflation,” Ciruli said.