John Hickenlooper Ends Presidential Bid, Still Considering Senate Run

John Hickenlooper Ends Presidential Bid, Still Considering Senate Run

Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper officially ended his presidential campaign Thursday, possibly pivoting to a run for U.S. Senate against one of the nation’s most vulnerable Republican incumbents, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.).

“This morning, I’m announcing that I’m no longer running for President,” Hickenlooper tweeted. “While this campaign didn’t have the outcome we were hoping for, every moment has been worthwhile & I’m thankful to everyone who supported this campaign and our entire team.”

Hickenlooper, 67, struggled to garner support for his White House bid since entering the race as a moderate voice in a crowded field of candidates pushing the party further to the left.

While he qualified for the first two rounds of Democratic primary debates earlier this summer, Hickenlooper failed to stand out and his campaign paid the price. The former Colorado governor was not even registering in some presidential polls and he was certain to miss both threshold requirements to qualify for the next two Democratic debates this fall.

Hickenlooper is currently discussing with staff and prominent Democratic power players the idea of jumping into the U.S. Senate race in his home state, launching a challenge against one of Democrats’ prime targets in 2020 in a state trending blue.

If he were to run, Hickenlooper would enter the race as the front-runner for the Democratic Senate nomination, already polling more than 51 percentage points ahead of other candidates seeking the nomination to run against Gardner.

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who is still seeking the Democratic presidential nomination and served as Hickenlooper’s chief of staff as mayor of Denver, endorsed the idea of a Hickenlooper Senate run.

“He was a phenomenal governor. … He was a phenomenal mayor, so I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be a phenomenal senator, but he’s got to make his own decisions,” Bennet said on MSNBC Wednesday.

Hickenlooper said earlier this year he is not “cut out to be a senator.”

Tristan Justice is a staff writer at The Federalist focusing on the 2020 presidential campaigns. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at [email protected]
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