COLORADO SPRINGS, Co. - A full 14 months before the state primary elections in June of 2018, seven Democrats have already officially filed to run for governor, while only three have submitted the paperwork on the Republican side.
Sunday, it was former state senator turned congressman Ed Perlmutter who announced his intention to replace Governor Hickenlooper, who is termed out in 2018.
He says Washington is "messed up" and believes he can be more productive in Colorado than Congress.
"I want to make sure that Colorado is kind of a check and balance on Washington DC to make sure that we don't take the state backward, that we keep moving forward," said Perlmutter.
A day later, former state treasurer Cary Kennedy, in a live video on Facebook, announced that she's running in the Democratic primary as well.
"Colorado is innovated and modern and forward-looking, and I've decided the best way I can make a difference is to run for governor," she said while emphasizing the importance of public education.
Last week, it was 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler who announced his candidacy on the Republican side.
"I think what we've seen out of the gold dome up north is really more of affability as a policy, and being likeable is not a substitute for leadership," he said during a campaign stop in Colorado Springs.
Many other candidates, including Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, a Republican, are hesitant to make a decision so soon after the November election.
"I think people are just getting over the 2016 election, and to ask them to now focus on 2018, that's a lot to ask of Colorado voters," she said.
Democrats have held the governor's office for the last two terms, and Hillary Clinton carried Colorado in the November presidential election, but Democrats are quick to say Colorado is still far from being a blue state.
"John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, holds the governor's mansion, but the other three statewide offices are held by Republicans," explained Perlmutter, "so this is going to be a spirited primary and a spirited general election, and I think it's going to be a real contest from today until election day."
Officials with the Colorado Democratic Party agree.
"It would be a real mistake to take anything for granted, we're going to have to fight for every vote," said party spokesperson Morgan Carroll.
Along with Coffman, another strong possibility on the Republican side is state treasurer Walker Stapleton, while congressman Jared Polis is another Democrat considering a run.