The word is out that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper will formally announce that he is running for Governor on the Democratic party ticket in Colorado at 4:15 p.m. this afternoon in front of the state capital. I heartily endorse him and think that he is by far the best person for this job in the state. He has proven himself to be talented a heading up the executive branch of a large governmental entity, and has maintained his popularity with the general public, across partisan lines, in the process. He should handily beat presumptive Republican nominee Scott McInnis.
His run will also bring excitement and optimism to Democratic campaigns all the way down the Democratic 2010 ticket in the state, in a way that only President Obama's campaign matched in the past few decades, which may help Democrats avoid the traditional off year election slump of the President's party in Colorado. Hickenlooper is a candidate that the Democratic Party base and moderate unaffiliated voters in the state can unite around.
Andrew Romanoff is the only other likely serious contender for the Democratic Party nomination for Governor. But, with Hickenlooper running, I believe that he is best off continuing his primary challenge of Ritter appointee Michael Bennet in the U.S. Senate race. Andrew Romanoff is a sublime legislative politician, with a firm grasp of national issues, who would be a better Senator than he would be a Governor. I support Andrew Romanoff in his U.S. Senate race because he would be such an extraordinary U.S. Senator, and would be the strongest candidate to share to the top of the ticket with Hickenlooper statewide, even though Michael Bennet is not a bad guy and is also not incompetent. Bennet simply isn't as extraordinary an orator and thinker and campaigner and deal maker as Romanoff.
Alternately, Romanoff could be an unusually competent and capable Lietenant Governor for Mayor Hickenlooper. There are others, of course, who would also be able to perform the usually not very demanding Lietenant Governor's job as well.
This, of course, opens up a wide open race to become Mayor of Denver. But, there are many people qualified to do the job and step into the well functioning governmental entity that Hickenlooper has left for a successor, and I look forward to meeting those candidates in the days to come. Democrats in Denver have a deep bench of qualified people to step into Mayor Hickenlooper's shoes.