Hick­en­looper weighs in on race to re­place him, fu­ture in pol­i­tics

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Jesse Paul

Gov. John Hick­en­looper this week made one of his first pub­lic, in-depth dives into the race to re­place him, gush­ing that he thinks his No. 2, Donna Lynne, “would be a great gov­er­nor” and that the con­test will be de­fined by the econ­omy, en­vi­ron­ment and health care.

“She’s like a Hoover vac­uum cleaner of prob­lems. They just dis­ap­pear, and ev­ery­one’s happy,” Hick­en­looper said of her Tues­day night when asked about top can­di­dates in the race. The lieu­tenant gov­er­nor an­nounced ear­lier that day that she’s ex­plor­ing a run for his po­si­tion.

He added: “I do think she is a re­mark­ably tal­ented per­son, and if she were to run and to win she would be a great gov­er­nor. The last thing she needs is for ev­ery­one to say, ‘The gov­er­nor is try­ing to get her elected or push­ing her out there to do this.’ ”

Hick­en­looper was speak­ing with Anna Palmer and Jake Sher­man as part of a Politico event in Den­ver. The group also dis­cussed the state of Colorado’s po­lit­i­cal land­scape, the gov­er­nor’s fu­ture as­pi­ra­tions and even a meet­ing he had with Grate­ful Dead found­ing mem­ber Bob Weir.

In terms of the 2018 Colorado gov­er­nor’s race, Hick­en­looper also sang the praises of other Democrats in the con­test, in­clud­ing U.S. Rep. Jared Po­lis, for­mer state Sen. Mike John­ston and for­mer state trea­surer Cary Kennedy.

“There are so many good can­di­dates,” he said.

Busi­ness­man Noel Ginsburg is also run­ning in the Demo­cratic pri­mary for gov­er­nor. There is also a long list of Repub­li­cans vy­ing to re­place Hick­en­looper.

The Demo­crat also took a swipe at U.S. Sen. Cory Gard­ner over his health care votes last week, say­ing he was up­set with how the Repub­li­can sided with the GOP ma­jor­ity.

“I was dis­ap­pointed on the health care thing,” Hick­en­looper said. “That he came out and just said, ‘I’m go­ing to sup­port what­ever the Se­nate comes up with.’ I was so sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed by that be­cause that’s not the Cory Gard­ner I thought I knew.”

When asked about his po­lit­i­cal fu­ture, Hick­en­looper de­clined — as he has be­fore — to rule any­thing out. In Fe­bru­ary, how­ever, he told The Den­ver Post he wasn’t go­ing to run for pres­i­dent in 2020.

“The mo­ment I start talk­ing about what I’m go­ing to do af­ter I’m done, the mo­ment I start to pack or do any­thing, not only do I get dis­tracted but all of my Cab­i­net, ev­ery­body gets dis­tracted,” he said. “I think we are close to do­ing stuff that re­ally mat­ters. I’m not rul­ing any­thing out.”

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