Oct 18, 2022 - Politics

1-minute voter guide: Erik Aadland and Brittany Pettersen seek 7th Congressional District seat

Photo illustration of Brittany Pettersen, tinted blue, and Erik Aadland, tinted red, separated by a white halftone divider.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos: Pettersen and Aadland campaigns

Republican Erik Aadland and Democrat Brittany Pettersen are gunning for a chance to represent Denver suburbs in Congress.

Flashback: Incumbent U.S. state Rep. Ed Perlmutter said he would retire after serving for 16 years.

Driving the news: Democrats are likely to keep the seat that President Biden carried by nearly 15 points, according to Politico.

Meet the candidates: Erik Aadland is a combat veteran and political newcomer.

  • He comes from an Army family, and he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Brittany Pettersen is a state lawmaker with a long history serving in both chambers of the state Legislature, most recently as a state senator.

  • Pettersen was raised in Jefferson County in a working-class family. She graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Where they stand: Curbing inflation is something both candidates say they would address in Congress.

  • Aadland told the Colorado Sun he would concentrate on curbing government spending by improving oil and gas production, strengthening the country's supply chain.
  • Pettersen said she would look to invest in ports to improve cargo movements, which could help with supply chain issues. She also advocates for loan forgiveness programs for people in industries currently in high demand, including education and health care.
On the environment:
  • Aadland called himself an environmentalist in an interview with CPR News. He wants to improve clean energy technology without impacting the country's economy, though still calls for domestic production of natural gas. He would support developing nuclear energy in his district.
  • Pettersen wants to see federal money used to help the country transition to renewable energy to combat climate change. She said the private sector could play a pivotal role in this transition, specifically in creating technology to improve energy storage. She supports using natural gas as an alternative to coal or oil.
On fentanyl:
  • Aadland supports increased penalties for people distributing fentanyl, though he doesn't agree with a Republican-led proposal recommending life sentences for anyone convicted of trafficking the synthetic opioid.
  • Pettersen, who has spoken publicly about her mother's opioid addiction, told CPR News she wants to target drug cartels and people "exploiting our communities" rather than criminalizing addiction.

Between the lines: Both Aadland and Pettersen are parents, and have shown their families in political ads to appeal to suburban families struggling to make ends meet due to inflation.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Denver.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Denver stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Denver.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more