Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said his wife offered to remain married to him if he’d decided to run for president, according to a New York Times columnist.
Hickenlooper separated from journalist and author Helen Thorpe in 2012, citing the pressures of public life and their lack of time together. In announcing the split, Hickenlooper stressed that neither had been unfaithful and that they remain close friends.
Hickenlooper and Thorpe were married in 2002, a year before he was elected mayor of Denver, his first public office. They have a 10-year-old son.
The Colorado governor and former brewpub owner is often at the center of speculation that he will make a run for the White House, and the Times column by Frank Bruni questioned whether presidential candidates’ marital status is as important as in the past.
He singled out New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Hickenlooper as examples of politicians whose family lives are different from what many have come to expect of presidential candidates. Cuomo is single, but has lived with his girlfriend for years.
Hickenlooper told the Times his marriage might have survived had he not run for governor. He added that Thorpe told him, “If you want to run for president, I’m in. We’ll stay married. I’ll figure it out and I’ll be fine.”
He called the offer “amazingly generous,” but told Bruni he didn’t want to prolong Thorpe’s unhappiness.
As for running for president, Hickenlooper said it wasn’t on his radar.
“(I) pretty much made my mind up to focus on Colorado and not to spend time imagining any national campaigns,” he’s quoted as saying.
Could the two reunite if he changes his mind? The Times article doesn’t say, and a Hickenlooper spokesman wrote in an email that Hickenlooper is “focused on being governor and not running for president.”
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