Former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperGun control group rolls out first round of Senate endorsements The Hill’s Campaign Report: Republicans go on attack over calls to ‘defund the police’ Hickenlooper ethics questions open him up to attack MORE (D) dropped out of the Democratic presidential primary on Thursday, fueling speculation that he will launch a Senate bid in his home state.
He becomes the second major candidate after Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellNASCAR bans display of Confederate flag from events and properties Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Grenell says intelligence community working to declassify Flynn-Kislyak transcripts MORE (D-Calif.) to drop out of the crowded primary field, leaving 23 still vying for the nomination.
Hickenlooper said in a statement on Thursday that he was giving “serious thought” to launching a Senate bid.
“I’ve heard from so many Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate. They remind me how much is at stake for our country. And our state,” Hickenlooper said. “I intend to give that some serious thought.”
The former governor also decried the “dysfunction” in Washington, D.C., and said Americans were “sick” of the political climate.
“They want this country moving forward. They’re sick of the chaos and dysfunction of Washington, D.C., and I couldn’t agree with them more,” Hickenlooper said. “I ran for president because this country is being ripped apart by politics and partisan games while our biggest problems go unsolved.”
Speculation has swirled for weeks that Hickenlooper will seek to challenge Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior faces legal scrutiny for keeping controversial acting leaders in office | White House faces suit on order lifting endangered species protections | Lawmakers seek investigation of Park Police after clearing of protesters The Hill’s Campaign Report: Republicans go on attack over calls to ‘defund the police’ MORE (Colo.), who is seen as one of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans seeking reelection in 2020.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has reportedly been trying to push Hickenlooper to launch a Senate campaign for months and polling suggests that the former governor would have no problem getting through his state’s Democratic primary.
A survey conducted late last month by the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group found Hickenlooper leading the state Democratic Senate primary pack at 61 percent, with his closest competitor trailing at 10 percent.
Hickenlooper’s presidential campaign was never able to gain traction in the polls or with Democratic donors and showed signs of struggle last month amid a slew of resignations.
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He conceded in July that the majority of the issues facing his campaign had to do with him, but refused at the time to drop out of the race.
The former governor often faced criticism from progressives for not being liberal enough.
He was notably booed after he denounced socialism at the California Democratic Party’s convention in June.