John Hickenlooper

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John Hickenlooper
United States Senator
from Colorado
Assumed office
January 3, 2021
Serving with Michael Bennet
Preceded byCory Gardner
42nd Governor of Colorado
In office
January 11, 2011 – January 8, 2019
LieutenantJoe García
Donna Lynne
Preceded byBill Ritter
Succeeded byJared Polis
Chair of the National Governors Association
In office
July 13, 2014 – July 25, 2015
DeputyGary Herbert
Preceded byMary Fallin
Succeeded byGary Herbert
43rd Mayor of Denver
In office
July 21, 2003 – January 11, 2011
Preceded byWellington Webb
Succeeded byBill Vidal
Personal details
John Wright Hickenlooper Jr.

(1952-02-07) February 7, 1952 (age 72)
Narberth, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Helen Thorpe
(m. 2002; div. 2015)

Robin Pringle (m. 2016)
RelativesAndrew Hickenlooper (great-grandfather)
Bourke B. Hickenlooper (great-uncle)
George Hickenlooper (cousin)
EducationWesleyan University (BA, MS)

John Wright Hickenlooper (born February 7, 1952) is an American politician. He is the junior United States Senator from Colorado since 2021. He was the 42nd Governor of Colorado from January 11, 2011 to January 8, 2019. Hickenlooper is a Democrat. He was the mayor of Denver, Colorado from 2003 to 2011.

Hickenlooper announced his candidacy for President of the United States on March 4, 2019.[1] He ended his campaign on August 15, 2019.[2] A few days later, he announced his candidacy for the United States Senate challenging incumbent Senator Cory Gardner.[3] In June 2020, he won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate race. In November 2020, he won the election. At 68, Hickenlooper became the oldest first-term senator to represent Colorado and the only Quaker member of Congress.[4]

Early life, education and career[change | change source]

Hickenlooper was born in Narberth, Pennsylvania. He was raised by his mother after his father died young.[5] He is a graduate of Wesleyan University. At Wesleyan, he earned a B.A. in English in 1974 and a master’s degree in geology in 1980.

Before becoming mayor in July 2003, he was a geologist and then a businessperson. Hickenlooper owned several restaurants in the late 1980s. He was one of the founders of the original Wynkoop Brewing Company brewpub.

Political positions[change | change source]

Campaign for the homeless[change | change source]

Hickenlooper has wanted more homeless services since becoming mayor in 2003. He talked about his "10 year plan to end homelessness" at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.[source?].

Marijuana legalization[change | change source]

In 2006, Denver became the first major American city to make legal the private use of marijuana by people over age 21. Hickenlooper was against the marijuana legalization initiative. When the voters approved it 53.49%-46.51%, he said that the vote "reflect[s] a genuine shift in people's attitudes." Currently the Denver Police say the initiative does not overrule the state law, the Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS). Hickenlooper agrees with the Denver Police. The CRS currently treats marijuana possession much like driving faster than the speed limit. The penalty is fines of up to $100 and no jail time.[6]

2020 presidential campaign[change | change source]

Hickenlooper in Des Moines, Iowa, August 2019

Hickenlooper formally announced his candidacy for President of the United States on March 4, 2019. He released a campaign video titled “Standing Tall”.[7] Before announcing his campaign, Hickenlooper was widely seen as a possible candidate for President in 2020. Hickenlooper formally launched his campaign on March 7, 2019 in Denver.[8] After failing to obtain over 1% in polls, Hickenlooper dropped out of the race on August 15, 2019.[2]

2020 Senate run[change | change source]

In August 2019, it was revealed that Hickenlooper ended his presidential bid to run for the United States Senate in 2020 against incumbent Senator Cory Gardner.[2] In a poll for potential Democratic candidates for the Colorado Senate, Hickenlooper was the front-runner with 61%.[9] On August 22, 2019, Hickenlooper announced his candidacy for the Senate.[10] In June 2020, he won the Democratic nomination. On November 3, 2020, Hickenlooper was declared the winner of the Senate race.

Personal life[change | change source]

Hickenlooper's ex-wife, Helen Thorpe, is a writer. Her work has been published in The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, George, and Texas Monthly. They lived in Denver's Park Hill neighborhood with their son, Teddy.[11] Hickenlooper told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he and Thorpe attend Quaker meetings and try to live by Quaker values.[12]

References[change | change source]

  1. Turkewitz, Julie (2019-03-04). "John Hickenlooper, Former Colorado Governor, Declares Candidacy for President". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "John Hickenlooper ends 2020 presidential campaign, nods at potential Senate bid". CNN. August 15, 2019.
  3. Hickenlooper, John. "Not Done Fighting". YouTube. John Hickenlooper. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  4. Luning, Ernest (December 29, 2020). "TRAIL MIX | Superlatives pile up in record-shattering 2020 election". Colorado Politics. Retrieved December 29, 2020. At 68, Hickenlooper is the oldest Coloradan to first win election to the U.S. Senate.
  5. Bedingfield, Steve (13 October 2010). "How Old is John Hickenlooper?". Politics Daily. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  6. O'Driscoll, Patrick (2005-11-03). "Denver OKs pot". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  7. Balluck, Kyle (2019-03-04). "Hickenlooper launches 2020 presidential campaign". TheHill. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  8. "Hickenlooper expected to announce Presidential run next week". FOX31 Denver. 2019-03-01. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  9. "Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper drops out of 2020 presidential race as he considers Senate run". CNBC. August 15, 2019.
  10. Garcia, Justin (August 21, 2019). "John Hickenlooper is running for U.S. Senate: "I'm not done fighting for the people of Colorado"". The Denver Post. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  11. Gathright, Alan (4 August 2006). "Hickenloopers out to forsake their LoDo loft". Rocky Mountain News. Denver Publishing Company. pp. 6A. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
  12. Timpane, John (October 27, 2010). "On campaign trail with John Hickenlooper, Pennsylvania native running for Colorado governor". Inquirer. Retrieved August 10, 2011.

Other websites[change | change source]

Political offices
Preceded by
Wellington Webb
Mayor of Denver
Succeeded by
Bill Vidal
Preceded by
Bill Ritter
Governor of Colorado
Succeeded by
Jared Polis
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bill Ritter
Democratic nominee for Governor of Colorado
2010, 2014
Succeeded by
Jared Polis