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