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Colorado’s 7th District Democrats Battle over Who Will Challenge O’Donnell

In the Aug. 8 primary former State Rep. Peggy Lamm will go to battle for the party’s nomination against her main opponent Ed Perlmutter.

The two candidates have gone head to head in recent weeks, airing television ads accusing each other of supporting Republicans on such issues as gun laws, oil company revenues and abortion rights.

Perlmutter, a former state senator, even accused Lamm, the sister-in-law of former Democratic Gov. Dick Lamm, of supporting the re-election of Republican Gov. Bill Owens in 2002, the Denver Post reported.

“She doesn’t act like a Democrat or a Lamm,” a Perlmutter ad claims.

Both candidates have raised significant amounts of money leading up to the primary, but Perlmutter leads the fight financially. Lamm has raised an estimated $648,722, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Perlmutter has managed to secure almost half a million more at $1,006,836, the organization said.

Whoever wins the Democratic nomination will face a tough battle against unopposed Republican candidate Rick O’Donnell, a 36-year-old former state education official.

With the help of several heavy-weight Republican leaders, including a fundraising visit from President Bush in July, O’Donnell’s coffers have reached an estimated $1,253,968, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

How the democrats rally following the primary could determine the outcome of the Nov. 7 vote, according to Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

“Democrats’ chances of a takeover here depend in large part on their eventual candidate’s ability to replenish campaign coffers and go on the offensive against O’Donnell quickly,” Sabato said.