Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Thursday that he will challenge Republican Sen. Cory Gardner for a Senate seat in 2020, one week after bowing out of the Democratic presidential race.
Hickenlooper announced on Aug. 15 in a YouTube video that he was dropping out as a 2020 presidential candidate, adding that many in Colorado want him to run against Gardner. About a dozen others are challenging Gardner for a Senate seat, according to Politico.
This morning, I’m announcing that I’m no longer running for President. 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.https://t.co/1ijSjkbzzd
— John Hickenlooper (@Hickenlooper) August 15, 2019
“I’m running to give Colorado’s priorities and values a voice in Washington,” Hickenlooper wrote 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.” (RELATED: Hickenlooper: ‘Socialism Is Not The Solution’ To Climate Change)
Hickenlooper is running for Senate “to make Washington work for Coloradans by bringing people together to lower health care and prescription drug costs, to keep our families safe from gun violence, and protect the state’s public lands while also combating climate change,” according to his website.
The former governor previously insisted during his presidential campaign that he would not be running for Senate, Politico reported. Still, many speculated during the campaign that he would run.
“He’s got a favorable matchup with Sen. Gardner, and I think that’s what catches the attention of national Democrats. … They see him as an incredibly strong candidate who can raise money and instantly be a formidable opponent,” Doug Friednash, one of Hickenlooper’s former chiefs of staff, said according to Politico.
The National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC) responded to Hickenlooper’s announcement, saying that he isn’t “‘cut out’ for the Senate” in a press release Thursday.
“John Hickenlooper is desperate to redeem himself after flopping on the national stage, but we think he said it best just a few months ago: he is ‘’not cut out’ for the Senate,'” Joanna Rodriguez, an NRSC spokesperson said according to the release. “This crowded Senate field has been in a race to the left and Hickenlooper’s quixotic presidential bid did not do him any favors in proving he can compete in any race in 2020.”
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