WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper dropped his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination less than six months after trying to position himself as a centrist among a crowded field seeking to challenge Republican President Donald Trump.
“Today, I’m ending my campaign for President. But I will never stop believing that America can only move forward when we work together,” Hickenlooper said.
Hickenlooper, the third hopeful to drop out of a field of more than two dozen Democrats vying to replace Trump, hinted broadly that he might run instead for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat, as Democrats seek to wrest the upper legislative house from Republican control.
“I’ve heard from so many Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate,” Hickenlooper said in a statement on Thursday. “They remind me how much is at stake for our country.”
He said he would give the idea “serious thought.”
Buoyed by distaste for Trump and unprecedented efforts to register new voters in key districts, Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives last year, giving the party greater power to stymie Republican policies and advance their own. A takeover of the Senate would allow Democrats to effectively block Trump’s efforts to nominate conservative judges and pass new laws even if the Republican is re-elected.
To that end, some Democrats have urged presidential hopefuls who have failed to win significant support to consider running for the Senate in their home states. Montana Governor Steve Bullock and former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas, have resisted such calls.
Hickenlooper on Thursday officially notified federal election authorities that he was ending his campaign.
(Reporting by Amanda Becker, Sharon Bernstein and Susan Heavey; additional reporting by Ginger Gibson; editing by Jonathan Oatis)