DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado hasn’t had a strong presidential contender since Gary Hart in 1988, but former Gov. John Hickenlooper has announced a run for president in 2020 and Sen. Michael Bennet has too. They are among the very large group of Democratic politicians who are mounting a challenge to President Donald Trump’s re-election bid or considering it.
The following notable candidates are officially in the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination, per CBS News:
- Andrew Yang, entrepreneur based in Manhattan
- Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota senator
- Bernie Sanders, Vermont senator
- Beto O’Rourke, former Texas representative
- Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayor
- Cory Booker, New Jersey senator
- Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts senator
- Eric Swalwell, California representative
- Jay Inslee, Washington governor
- Joe Biden, former vice president
- John Delaney, former Maryland representative
- John Hickenlooper, former Colorado governor
- Julián Castro, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary
- Kirsten Gillibrand, New York senator
- Kamala Harris, California senator
- Marianne Williamson, author based in California
- Michael Bennet, Colorado senator
- Mike Gravel, former Alaska senator
- Pete Buttigieg, South Bend Indiana mayor
- Seth Moulton, Massachusetts congressman
- Steve Bullock, Montana governor
- Tim Ryan, Ohio representative
- Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii representative
- Wayne Messam, Miramar, Florida, mayor
The most recent candidates to enter the race are New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper held a campaign kickoff celebration in Denver on March 7 in Denver. He formed a political action committee — Giddy Up PAC — and has visited all the traditional early voting states including Iowa and New Hampshire recently to talk to voters.
He took part in a CNN town hall on March 20. In April he visited with the families of the victims of the 2015 Charleston church shooting and with victims of the Columbine massacre as well as other mass shootings in Colorado.
See the latest reports about his candidacy. Hickenlooper is positioning himself as a moderate at a time of intense partisanship in the country.
Sen. Michael Bennet
Bennet, a two-term senator, is Colorado’s senior senator and has been sharply critical of the presidential administration in recent months, particularly over the federal government shutdown. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March and underwent successful surgery in mid-April. Before the surgery he said he would commit to making a presidential run if it was successful. He committed on May 2. He has visited with voters in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Officially Declared Candidates And Colorado
John Hickenlooper was governor of the Centennial state from 2011 to 2019 and left office due to term limits.
Prior to being governor, he served two terms as mayor of Denver.
Michael Bennet was the superintendent of Denver Public Schools when then-Gov. Bill Ritter appointed him to the U.S. Senate to fill the spot left by Ken Salazar, who left the Senate to become President Barack Obama’s Secretary of the Interior.
Bennet, who formerly worked for Denver entrepreneur Phil Anschutz and then as a staffer for then-Mayor John Hickenlooper, is currently Colorado’s senior senator.
Elizabeth Warren took part in a town hall meeting in Colorado with potential voters in Aurora in April. It took place at the Hangar at Stanley.
Joe Biden has visited Colorado several times in the past two decades. He was a speaker at the 2008 Democratic National Convention which was held in Denver and also campaigned in Colorado four years later during former President Barack Obama’s successful re-election bid.
He came to Colorado to survey the massive flood damage in the state in 2013 and addressed cadets at the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs in May 2014.
He also spoke at the University of Denver in 2016 at the annual Korbel Dinner and visited the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus that same year to speak to students about preventing sexual assaults.
Bernie Sanders made several stops in Colorado during his losing bid for the Democratic nomination in 2016, and Colorado delegates favored Sanders over his competitor Hillary Clinton.
In 2018, Sanders returned to the Centennial state to throw his support behind would-be Gov. Jared Polis and other progressive Democratic candidates.
Previous Colorado Presidential Contenders
Gary Hart, a lawyer, had a private practice in Denver before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1974. He served two terms before twice running for the Democratic presidential nomination. Hart was the clear frontrunner in 1988 but rumors about an extramarital affair with Donna Rice dogged his campaign. The scandal eventually forced Hart out of the presidential race and the public eye for several years.
Tom Tancredo ran for president as a Republican in 2008 and left the race relatively early on, but he is known across the country as one of the nation’s most conservative politicians when it comes to immigration policy. According to his Web site, he “successfully pushed the issue of illegal immigration to the forefront of the national debate before ending his campaign just prior to the Iowa Caucus.” He was elected to Congress in 1998 and opted against running for re-election after 5 terms.