Hickenlooper Drops Presidential Bid to Run for Senate in Colorado

Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper speaks in Washington, D.C., January 24, 2019. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper announced Thursday that he will run for Senate in Colorado, a week after he abandoned his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“I’m running to give Colorado’s priorities and values a voice in Washington,” Hickenlooper said in a statement on his campaign website.”Right now we’re represented by a senator who works to undo our progress by voting 99% of the time with Donald Trump and going along with Mitch McConnell’s obstruction and partisan political games.”

Hickenlooper is referring to his opponent, Republican incumbent Cory Gardner, whose reelection bid is considered vulnerable.

“I’ve always said Washington was a lousy place for a guy like me who knows how to get things done, but this is no time to walk away from the table,” Hickenlooper said in a video announcing his new campaign. “We ought to be working together to move this country forward and stop the political nonsense. I know changing Washington is hard, but I want to give it a shot.

Notably, Hickenlooper mentions lowering prescription drug costs as one of his policy priorities, a bipartisan issue that President Trump has also emphasized. The former Colorado governor also mentions combatting gun violence, preserving public lands and fighting climate change.

Members of Democratic Party brass have urged Hickenlooper to take on Gardner instead of keeping his long shot presidential bid on life support. Other candidates have received similar requests, including former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, who has been called on to leave the crowded Democratic presidential primary in favor of a Senate run in Texas against Republican incumbent John Cornyn.

Victories by Hickenlooper and O’Rourke would chip away at the Republican majority in the Senate.

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