Edwin George Perlmutter (born May 1, 1953) is an American lawyer and politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Colorado’s 7th congressional district since 2007. A member of the Democratic Party, his district is located in the northern and western suburbs of the Denver metropolitan area. He previously served as the Colorado State Senator from the 20th district from 1995 to 2003.

Early life, education and career

Perlmutter was born in Denver, the son of Alice Love (née Bristow) and Leonard Michael Perlmutter on May 1, 1953.[1] His father was Jewish, the son of immigrants from Poland; his mother was Christian, and was of English and Irish descent.[2] Perlmutter describes himself as a Christian.[3][4][5][6] Perlmutter graduated from Jefferson High School in Edgewater, Colorado and went on to study political science, history, and economics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, graduating in 1975. He received his Juris Doctor at Colorado in 1978 where he was twice elected president of his class while working part-time as a laborer on construction projects.[citation needed]

Colorado Senate

Perlmutter was a Colorado State Senator from 1995 to 2003. He was elected to two four-year terms to represent central Jefferson County as State Senator from 1995 to 2003—the first Democrat elected in the district in 30 years.

In 2000, he helped lead a team that succeeded in securing a Democratic majority in the Colorado State Senate for the first time since John F. Kennedy was president. He has assisted numerous campaigns and most recently was co-chair of the Kerry Campaign in Colorado.[citation needed]

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act

Since 2013, Perlmutter and Rep. Denny Heck have introduced legislation to improve access to banking and financial services for cannabis businesses.[12][13] Initially known as the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act, it was rebranded as the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act in 2017.[14] On September 25, 2019, the House of Representatives passed the SAFE Banking Act by a 321–103 vote, marking the first time that a standalone cannabis reform bill had passed either chamber of Congress.[15][16] The SAFE Banking Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives once again on April 19, 2021 by a vote of 321 to 101.

Political campaigns


Perlmutter won the Democratic nomination for the 7th district by defeating former State Representative Peggy Lamm and college professor Herb Rubenstein, with 53% of the vote in the primary. State education chairman Rick O’Donnell was unopposed for the Republican nomination. Dave Chandler, a Green, was also a candidate.

The seat was held by Republican Bob Beauprez, who was reelected to a second term in 2004 with 55% of the vote, after winning his first term by only 121 votes. He left the seat at the end of the 2004–2006 term, having failed in his bid to become Governor of Colorado.

In late September, O’Donnell was put on the defensive when ads appeared noting that he had previously supported abolishing Social Security. A Survey USA poll soon after that showed Perlmutter with a 54 to 37 percent lead, although GOP consultants guessed that the support was “soft”.[17] An October 4 poll released by Zogby showed Perlmutter ahead of O’Donnell by 45-34 percent.[18] Cook Political Report rating: Republican Toss Up. CQPolitics rating: No Clear Favorite.

In the end, Perlmutter (54%) soundly defeated O’Donnell (42%) for the congressional seat, helping Democrats to regain the majority in the U.S. House.


Perlmutter won against Republican nominee John W. Lerew.[citation needed]


Perlmutter defeated Republican nominee Ryan Frazier and Libertarian nominee Buck Bailey on November 2, 2010. The 7th Congressional district had been cited as a GOP target in 2010.[19]


Perlmutter defeated Republican nominee Joe Coors Jr. on November 6, 2012. Perlmutter’s victory came despite new congressional boundaries that made his district 4 percent less Democratic. Perlmutter was ahead by 9 percentage points in Jefferson County, where 60 percent of the voters live. Perlmutter led Coors by 17 percentage points in Adams County, where 40 percent of the constituents in the newly drawn 7th district live.[20]


Perlmutter defeated Republican nominee Don Ytterberg in the 2014 general election. He won with 55.1% of the vote.[21]


Perlmutter defeated Republican nominee George Athanasopoulos and Libertarian nominee Martin L. Buchanan in the 2016 general election. He won with 55.18% of the vote.[22]


On April 9, 2017, Perlmutter announced his candidacy for Governor of Colorado in the 2018 election.[23][24] On July 10, 2017, Perlmutter announced that he will drop out of the gubernatorial race and will not seek reelection to his congressional seat.[25] However, on August 21, 2017, he announced he had reversed his decision again and ran for reelection for his congressional seat.[26] He defeated Republican nominee Mark Barrington, winning re-election with 60.42% of the vote.


Perlmutter defeated Republican nominee Casper Stockham, Libertarian nominee Ken Biles, and Unity nominee Dave Olszta in the 2020 general election. He won with 59.1% of the vote.

Personal life

Perlmutter has three children. He and his first wife Deana divorced in 2008. In November 2010, Perlmutter married Nancy Henderson.[27]
Nancy Perlmutter teaches mathematics and has three adult children.[citation needed] His uncle was Denver real estate developer, Jordon Perlmutter.[28]


  1. ^ “Congressman Ed Perlmutter – About”. Facebook. Archived from the original on May 1, 2018. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  2. ^ “Ancestry® | Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History Records”. freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Archived from the original on 2016-08-20. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  3. ^ Jeralyn Merritt (April 7, 2006). “An Interview With Ed Perlmutter”. 5280. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
  4. ^ “111th Congress – Meet The New Members | Legislator | US Representative Ed Perlmutter”. 111th.illumen.org. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
  5. ^ “Ed Perlmutter”. Facebook. 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  6. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2011-05-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ “Committee Membership | Financial Services Committee”. financialservices.house.gov.
  8. ^ “Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy | Financial Services Committee”. financialservices.house.gov.
  9. ^ “Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations | Financial Services Committee”. financialservices.house.gov.
  10. ^ “Membership”. Select Committee on the Modernization on the Congress. U.S. House Of Representatives. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  11. ^ “Members”. New Democrat Coalition. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  12. ^ “SAFE Banking Act Introduced as Congress Looks to Address Cannabis Banking Issue” (Press release). Washington, D.C.: house.gov. March 7, 2019.
  13. ^ “Perlmutter, Heck Introduce Commonsense Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act” (Press release). Washington, D.C.: house.gov. July 10, 2013.
  14. ^ Wallace, Alicia (April 27, 2017). “New federal bill would allow banking for marijuana businesses”. The Cannabist. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  15. ^ “SAFE Banking Act Passes U.S. House of Representatives with Overwhelming, Bipartisan Support” (Press release). Washington, D.C.: house.gov. September 25, 2019.
  16. ^ Jaeger, Kyle (September 25, 2019). “House Approves Marijuana Banking Bill In Historic Vote”. Marijuana Moment. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  17. ^ [1] Archived March 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ “Results in key House races: Reuters poll”. Washington Post. Reuters. 2006-10-04. Archived from the original on 2012-10-24.
  19. ^ Zeleny, Roger (2010-05-09). “Democrats See Hopes for West Dim in Colorado”. New York Times. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  20. ^ Bartels, Lynn (2012-06-11). “Perlmutter wins fourth term, Coors tapped out in 7th district”. Denver Post. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  21. ^ “U.S. Representatives”. Colorado Secretary of State. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  22. ^ “Official Certified Results, November 8, 2016 General Election”. Colorado Secretary of State. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  23. ^ Marcus, Peter (March 23, 2017). “Ed Perlmutter expected to announce a run for governor”. ColoradoPolitics.com. Archived from the original on March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  24. ^ James Anderson (April 9, 2017). “Democratic congressman announces run for Colorado governor”. Associated Press. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  25. ^ “Ed Perlmutter to announce that he is dropping out of governor’s race”. coloradopolitics.com. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  26. ^ Bunch, Joey (2018-08-21). “Perlmutter is back in congressional race, Moreno and Pettersen suspend campaigns”. Colorado Politics. Retrieved 2017-08-21.
  27. ^ “Perlmutters getting married on Friday”. Denver Post. 2010-11-25.
  28. ^ Westminster Window: “Longtime businessman Jordan Perlmutter helped develop Northglenn area” by Corrie Sahling December 14, 2015

External links

Colorado Senate
Preceded by

Claire Traylor
Member of the Colorado Senate
from the 20th district

Succeeded by

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado’s 7th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by