Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper announced Thursday that he is dropping out of the 2020 Democrat presidential race.
“While this campaign didn’t have the outcome we were hoping for, every moment has been worthwhile and I’m thankful to everyone who supported this campaign and our entire team,” Hickenlooper said in a video announcing his departure from the race.
The former Colorado lawmaker began his White House campaign in March, promising to unite the country. Instead, he quickly became a political punch line. “While this campaign didn’t have the outcome we were hoping for, every moment has been worthwhile,” he tweeted on Thursday.
He positioned himself as a common-sense candidate who couldn’t be labeled a “socialist” by Republicans. But Hickenlooper couldn’t make his voice heard in the crowded Democratic field of about two dozen candidates.
It didn’t help that, by Hickenlooper’s own admission, he was a mediocre debater and an erratic public speaker. In the end, he could not scrape together enough money for many of his trademark quirky ads, only launching one in which avid beer drinkers toast Hickenlooper by comparing him to favorite brews.
Hickenlooper softened his denials of interest in the Senate in recent weeks as his campaign finances dwindled and pressure increased from other Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is said to have asked him to mount a Senate bid.
“A survey conducted late last month by the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group found Hickenlooper leading the state Democratic Senate primary pack at 61 percent, with his closest competitor trailing at 10 percent,” reports The Hill.
“I’ve heard from so many Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate. They remind me how much is at stake for our country. And our state,” said Hickenlooper. “I intend to give that some serious thought.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.