March 4, 2019 - Former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) Announces Candidacy

• Hickenlooper's campaign released 2m24s video and launched a website and he appeared on "Good Morning America" in a taped segment.  A kick-off rally is scheduled fro March 7 in the Greek Amphitheater at Civic Center Park in Denver.

• Hickenlooper 2020 press releases and fundraising email.

• RNC.

"Stand Tall"

Hickenlooper: No one can predict what happens after you become governor. Historic drought, thousands of acres in flames and then came the worst floods in a hundred years.

And a mass shooting at a movie theater once again tore the heart out of our community.

I promised Colorado families that we would rebuild our communities better than before, and that just offering thoughts and prayers would never again be sufficient.

I'm john Hickenlooper. I'm running for president because we're facing a crisis that threatens everything we stand for.

As a skinny kid with Coke bottle glasses and a funny last name, I've stood up to my fair share of bullies.

Standing tall when it matters is one of the things that really drives me.

In my thirties I worked as a geologist and got laid off in a tough economy.

Being out of work for months changes you. You look in the mirror and you start to see a different person.

One day, I got a library book on how to write a business plan.

An abandoned warehouse in a forgotten corner of Denver became a successful brew pub

Hey, how you doing? Good. Good to see you.

In the end, we didn't just build a restaurant, we created a whole neighborhood and never looked back

At the age of fifty, I was elected mayor.

We transformed Denver into a national model for what a city could be.

Then during my eight years as Governor, we did the hard things families needed.

With a divided legislature. We got health care coverage for nearly ninety-five percent of all Coloradans.

We lifted our rural economy as Colorado went from fortieth in job growth to the number one economy in America.

We brought environmentalists and oil and gas companies to the table to create the toughest methane emissions laws in the country.

Then we beat the NRA by enacting universal background checks and banning high capacity magazines.

I'm running for President because we need dreamers in Washington, but we also need to get things done.

I've proven again and again, I can bring people together to produce the progressive change Washington has failed to deliver.

Join me, and will repair the damage done to our country and be stronger than ever.

Come out to Civic Center Park in Denver on March 7, and we'll kick off this campaign together.

Hickenlooper 2020


“I’ve proven again and again I can bring people together to produce the progressive change Washington has failed to deliver.”

The Governor announces his candidacy via video today, followed by an interview on Good Morning America. On Thursday, he will hold a kick-off rally in Denver, before departing on a two-day tour of Iowa.

Denver, CO - Today, Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper launched his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Hickenlooperannounced his decision to run in a campaign video, “Stand Tall” [LINK]. The video highlights the Governor’s sixteen years of executive experience and his record of accomplishment in the face of great adversity. At the start of his first term, he faced a historic recession, devastating droughts, forest fires, and floods, as well as the tragic mass-shooting in Aurora. Under the Governor’s leadership, Colorado confronted those challenges - passing historic gun reform, striking back against climate change, and jumping from 40th in job growth to the number one economy in the country.

“I’m running for President because we need dreamers in Washington but we also need to get things done,” says Hickenlooper in the video. “I’ve proven again and again I can bring people together to produce the progressive change Washington has failed to deliver.”

The Governor has accomplished that 'progressive change' by bringing people who don’t always agree to the table. Colorado now has near universal health insurance coverage, thanks to the Governor’s bipartisan effort to build one of the most robust exchanges in the country. Additionally, as Mayor, Hickenlooperworked cooperatively with suburban mayors, two thirds of them Republicans and Independents, to implement the largest mass-transit plan in state history, adding 119 miles of new rail tracks to the region. As Governor, Hickenlooperalso enacted the first methane regulations in the country, following a year long negotiation with the energy industry and environmentalists. Methane is a major contributor to climate change, 30 times more devastating than carbon dioxide. The regulations became the model for California and Canada.

The Governor’s ability to bring people together was also demonstrated in his electoral success. Hickenlooper was one of only two Democratic governors to win a swing state in 2014, one of the worst years for Democrats in decades, despite being a top target of the RGA. He left office last month as the most popular governor in decades, in a state evenly divided among Democrats, Independents and Republicans.

“Stand Tall” was produced by the Snyder Pickerill Media Group.
On Monday, the Governor will also appear on Good Morning America at approximately 8:30 AM ET in a taped segment.  The full segment will be available online.

On Thursday, the Governor will appear at a hometown send-off event in Denver, alongside Colorado leaders, friends, and musicians, including a performance by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. The event will take place in the Greek Amphitheater at Civic Center Park.  Doors open at 5PM. Those media interested in attending are asked to RSVP to

A sign up link for general public will be available on Monday at

Following the rally, the Governor will participate in a tour of Iowa on Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9. Details TBA. Media interested in attending are asked to RSVP to
On Sunday, March 10, the Governor will be interviewed by BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith at SXSW, in collaboration with the Texas Tribune, at 12:30 PM CT. Those media interested in attending are asked to RSVP to
John Hickenlooper grew up outside of Philadelphia, the youngest of four children. He attended Wesleyan University and received a bachelor’s in English and a master’s degree in Geology.
Hickenlooper moved to Colorado in 1981 to pursue a career in geology. In 1986, a market shift cost John and thousands of other geologists their jobs. He not only lost his job, but also his profession, and was out of work for two years. Hickenlooper decided to start his own business and, using a library book on how to write a business plan, opened a brewpub in an abandoned warehouse district. Rent was cheap in this forgotten corner of Denver, costing only one dollar per square foot per year.

Hickenlooper worked with other small businesses to create a dynamic, new neighborhood that became a national model for urban revitalization. As the brewpub succeeded, so did the community.

He ultimately opened 15 brewpubs and restaurants, almost all in historic buildings, mostly across the Midwest. He also worked closely with other businesses, nonprofits and local governments to help revitalize their downtowns.

Hickenlooper also served on the boards of dozens of civic and nonprofit organizations in Denver, becoming an advocate for the community.

In 2003, Hickenlooper ran for Mayor of Denver, in the first campaign of his life. A dark horse candidate who never ran a negative ad, he surprised everyone and won in a landslide.

As Mayor, he eliminated a $70 million budget deficit without layoffs or major services cuts -- though he did reduce his own salary by 25 percent.

Hickenlooper worked cooperatively with suburban mayors, two thirds of them Republicans and Independents, to implement a transformative mass-transit plan, called FasTracks, which added 119 miles of new rail tracks to the region.

While Mayor, he reduced crime and instituted police reforms, including a Citizen Oversight Commission and an Office of Independent Monitor.

He also expanded pre-K to every 4-year-old and he created the Denver Scholarship Program, which partnered with Denver Public Schools and private donations to help low income kids choose between 31 different technical community colleges and universities. The program has helped 6,376 scholars, and 78 percent of them have stayed enrolled in school or graduated.

His leadership helped transform the city into a destination and major economic hub. In 2005, with an approval rating of 92%, Time Magazine rated him one of the 5 best big city mayors in America.
In 2010, Hickenlooper became the first Denver Mayor elected Governor in 120 years. He was re-elected in 2014, after running an entirely positive campaign -- a trademark of his time in public service.

In the past eight years, Colorado jumped from 40th in job creation to the number one economy in the nation. As Governor, Hickenlooper created an innovative workforce development program called Careerwise. This partnership between educational institutions and business offers apprenticeship programs in a dozen different industries to high school students. To date, it has been modeled by 20 other states.

Hickenlooper brought industry and environmentalists together to reduce methane emissions -- a major contributor to climate change. The regulations they developed became the model for California and Canada and are considered the gold standard across the United States.
Hickenlooper also led Colorado’s recovery effort through major fires and floods, re-opening roads, bridges, and communities in record time. He stood up to the NRA to pass landmark gun safety legislation, including limits on high capacity magazines and universal background checks
He expanded Medicaid and opened a high quality state health insurance exchange program called Connect for Health Colorado, establishing an insurer in every county in the state. Today, nearly 95 percent of Coloradans have healthcare coverage.


Text of Fundraising Email


It’s official. I’m asking you to interview me to be your next president of the United States.

That’s the headline, but with you being one of my earliest supporters, I wanted to tell you why I decided to run, in my own words. Check out this video for the short and sweet version.

[  ]

Joe, we need a candidate who can beat Donald Trump and bring us together on the other side to make real progress.  

We are facing a profound crisis, a crisis of division; we are more polarized than any time in generations.

Since Day 1 of his candidacy, Donald Trump has divided our country and threatened our democracy, attacked the middle class and alienated our allies. Under his administration, real people are being hurt. Real families are being separated. And Trump’s reckless withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement has put our planet and our future under threat (an agreement we still adhere to in Colorado, by the way—as Governor, I made sure of it).

We hurtle from crisis to crisis as our democracy crumbles, but we never move forward—only farther apart.

We need a new leader—one who will restore our democratic norms, our international stature, and our national commitment to dignity and opportunity for all. But to actually get there, we need someone with a track record of getting people to put down their weapons, listen to each other, and work together in support of progress.

We need a leader who is, above all, about bringing people together to get things done—and I believe my experiences have prepared me to seek the progressive solutions our nation so urgently needs. If that’s a goal you can get behind, become a founding member of our grassroots presidential campaign with a donation now.

My own story is about facing challenges, large and small.

When I lost my father at the age of 8, I started to live by one of my mom’s guiding principles: “You can’t control what life throws at you, but you can control how you respond.” I grew up a skinny kid with a funny last name and coke bottle glasses, so I experienced my fair share of bullies.  But I learned, with the help of humor and resilience, to never give up.

After college, I became a geologist, mapping what lay beneath the earth’s surface. I thought I had my life pretty figured out and all my boxes checked.

But then, I was laid off—along with thousands of other geologists.

I lost not only my job, but also my profession. After a few months of unemployment, I started to see another person in the mirror. If you’ve been laid off, you know how it goes: Everything you thought you knew and liked about yourself gets called into question.

But in time, with my mom’s wisdom guiding me, I took back control. I got up. I got a library book on how to write a business plan, and I got to work. Eventually, with the help of friends, I turned a historic but abandoned building in Denver into the first brewpub in the Rocky Mountain West. Working together with other small businesses, we transformed twenty-six dilapidated blocks into a vibrant new neighborhood that never looked back.

The experience transformed me, too. Throwing myself into neighborhood revitalization and community organizations led me to look around for bigger problems to help solve. And there were more than a few: In 2002, Denver itself faced a $70 million budget shortfall, a stagnating economy, and insufficient public transit.

I saw a chance to make a difference, so with the encouragement of my community, I ran for mayor—and won.

As mayor, together with leaders from surrounding communities, I tackled Denver’s challenges. We got efficient public transit in place, we implemented criminal justice reform, and we even managed to balance our budget—without major service cuts or layoffs. Eventually, Denver became a national model for what a city could be. And I decided to keep going and see how I could serve Colorado as a whole.

I was humbled when the people of Colorado chose me as their Governor.In my two terms, we continued to bring people together to pursue progressive goals and get things done: guiding our state through fires, floods, and recession, getting 95% of Coloradans insured, taking our economy from 40th in job creation to the number one economy in the nation, and passing some of the toughest environmental standards in the country.

But there were bullies to stand up to then, too. When gun violence shattered Aurora, Colorado on July 20, 2012, the NRA tried to drown out the voices of people calling for action. I stood up to the NRA, and Colorado became the first western state to pass universal background checks and ban high-capacity magazines.

My second and final term as Colorado’s Governor ended in December, and since then, I’ve been listeningand people across the country have told me they are ready to move past divisive rhetoric and build a better future. That’s what I’ve done in Colorado, and that’s what I want to do for our country.  

That’s great, Hickenlooper, you say. So, what are the problems we need to tackle straight away?

Health careit’s a right, not a privilege.

Tax fairnessputting the middle class first, not the wealthy few.

The future of the American worker—lifelong, affordable, versatile education so people can succeed in our changing economy.

Climate change—we need to rejoin the Paris Agreement and transition to a renewable economy, stat.

Civil rights and social justiceequality, opportunity, security, and dignity for all Americans. Donald Trump’s rhetoric has torn us apart—we need to repair the seams.

These are some of the most urgent problems we face—and together we can take them on while standing tall in the face of attacks and nonsense from the other side (including the bully in the White House).

Joe, it’s time to repair the damage done to our country. It’s time to make our democracy work again. It’s time to stand tall together and commit to a better path forward.

If you’re ready to help me in realizing that vision for our country, show it today by joining our campaign. We’re accepting no corporate PAC money—just people like you.

If you can, please chip in today. Your donation will represent more than a dollar amount—it will represent our first steps toward solutions to the challenges we face, and toward a better future for all.

Thank you,


Hickenlooper 2020


Denver, CO - Hickenlooper 2020 announced today that the campaign raised over one million in primary dollars in less than 48 hours since the Governor’s announcement. Hickenlooper is only one of four Democratic primary candidates to reach that level of early support. The campaign received donations from all 50 states and does not accept corporate PAC money.

“The surge of support and enthusiasm for the Governor is clear,” said Finance Director Dan Sorenson. “Governor Hickenlooper’s record of bringing people together and delivering real results on health care, climate, and gun reform is resonating across the country.”

Sorenson spent last cycle as the Deputy National Finance Director for the DCCC working for Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Previously, he served as the Colorado and New Mexico Finance Director for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Ashley Kennedy, Tonya Fulkerson and Sarah Paulos of FK&CO serve as the campaign's fundraising consultants. They previously served on the finance teams of several Democratic U.S. Senators, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. 

Brendan Koch serves as the campaign’s deputy finance director. In 2018, he served as the deputy national finance director for Senator Jon Tester.


Republican National Committee
March 4, 2019

“John Hickenlooper is the latest tax-and-spend liberal to join the race. But according to Hickenlooper, he’s actually ‘a lot more progressive’ than his far-left opponents. In a primary dominated by socialist policies like the $93 trillion ‘Green New Deal,’ that puts him way outside the mainstream.” – RNC Communications Director Michael Ahrens
Here’s just some of what you need to know about Hickenlooper:


1. Colorado Public Radio, 2/11/19

2. Colorado Rising Action, 2/14/19; AP, 2/14/19; Bloomberg, 2/25/19

3. KDVR, 6/16/14

4. The Daily Beast, 6/21/14

5. The Denver Post, 12/21/18

6. The Washington Times, 2/12/13

RNC Research (Top Takeaways)

Meet John Hickenlooper

Hickenlooper’s Entrance Into The 2020 Field Adds To The Long List Of Non-Competitive Candidates Pushing A Far-Left Agenda



  • In 2018, an ethics complaint was filed against John Hickenlooper (D-CO) for taking nearly 100 questionable flights that cost thousands of dollars, and were funded by wealthy benefactors.
  • Hickenlooper has bragged that “in many ways, I’m a lot more progressive than a lot of these other [2020 candidates].”
  • But, Hickenlooper has received backlash from progressives for his support of the oil industry, and during a 2013 U.S. Senate Committee Hearing, he bragged for once drinking a glass of fracking fluid
  • Hickenlooper will likely also face pressure from his party for opposing the legalization of marijuana, and admitting to agreeing with supporters of the 2nd Amendment.
  • Hickenlooper has been all over the map on health care, once opposing a state ballot proposal in Colorado to create a single-payer system, and suggesting he was willing to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, but now he supports universal health care, but rejects Medicare-for-all because he is concerned it would dismantle the current health care system.
  • Hickenlooper has embraced a soft on crime approach, repeatedly pardoning and reducing sentences for individuals that have been charged with murder.