After dropping out of the 2020 presidential race a week ago, Democrat John Hickenlooper is making plans with campaign personnel and other significant Democratic figures to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Colorado. Hickenlooper has confirmed his intent to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner for his seat.
Hickenlooper’s campaign website and first video for his senatorial run were launched on Aug. 15.
Colorado is one of the primary targets for Democrats in their hopes of gaining more seats in the Senate in 2020. Hickenlooper, former Colorado governor, may be the largest threat to incumbent Gardner.
Among Democrats who are currently in the race for a seat in Senate against Hickenlooper, some have already expressed their disdain. “If he’s going to switch gears and run for the Senate, he has a lot to explain to Colorado voters. This won’t be a coronation,” said Senator Angela Williams.
Looking back at what Hickenlooper previously said, it appears that he in fact did have misgivings about running for Senate.
“Some of my best friends are senators. I don’t think I’m cut out for that,” Hickenlooper said at Texas’s South by Southwest festival in March.
In February, Hickenlooper also confronted his weaknesses pertaining to why he isn’t “cut out” for the job, telling Politico that “Senators don’t build teams. Senators sit and debate in small groups, which is important, right? But I’m not sure that’s my—I’m a doer. That’s what gives me joy.”
“If you look at the skillsets of what I’m good at, that’s very different than what happens in the Senate,” Hickenlooper also said.
Former Democratic state representative Joe Salazar said, “We don’t need him a senator, we don’t want him as a senator.”
“I don’t think he would make it out of the primary,” Salazar adds.
Republicans also weighed in.
“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,” said Joanna Rodriguez, a spokesperson for the National Republican Senate Committee, in response to Hickenlooper’s announcement.
During Hickenlooper’s presidential campaign, launched early in 2019, he failed to accumulate much support in his run among a crowded pool of Democratic candidates.