Exactly one week after withdrawing from the presidential race, former Governor John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) has announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat that is also on the ballot next year, challenging incumbent Republican Cory Gardner.
Hickenlooper, who previously served as Mayor of Denver for eight years before serving another eight years as governor, joins a massive field for the Democratic nomination, with 11 other candidates already seeking the nomination. But Hickenlooper is the odds-on favorite to win both the nomination and the general election according to most polls, owing largely to his name recognition.
In announcing his bid, Hickenlooper said that although he considers Washington D.C. “a lousy place for a guy like me who wants to get things done…[he’s] not done fighting for the people of Colorado.”
Hickenlooper was one of the few candidates running for president as a Democrat who openly promoted himself as a moderate, repeatedly criticizing the more far-left proposals from other candidates in the race such as Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.
But his Senate bid has already received the endorsement of at least one of his former fellow candidates for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, with former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro (D-Texas) saying that he hopes to see Hickenlooper “send Cory Gardner…home.”
Gardner, who narrowly unseated incumbent Democrat Mark Udall in 2014 as part of that year’s Republican wave, is widely seen as the most vulnerable Republican incumbent in the 2020 election cycle. Up for re-election in a state that has not voted for a Republican president since 2004, Gardner has criticized President Trump on multiple occasions over his rhetoric and his immigration stances. Despite this, he has also faced criticisms from the Left that he is too close to President Trump and his policies.