Share this story...
john hickenlooper
Latest News
candidate photo

John Hickenlooper

Former governor of Colorado

  • Drops out of presidential race on 8/15
  • former governor of Colorado,  2011-2019
  • born Feb. 7, 1952, in Narberth, Pennsylvania
  • pro-business pragmatist as governor of a purple state
  • graduated Wesleyan University 1974, master’s degree 1980
  • mayor of Denver 2003-2011

Hickenlooper on impeachment:

“Hickenlooper believes that, based on what has been publicly reported, the president has committed impeachable offenses by holding up federal dollars to try to get a foreign nation to investigate one of his political opponents.” — Source: Melissa Miller, Hickenlooper spokeswoman, Oct. 21, 2019

Slogan: Come Together




John Hickenlooper's view on

Health care

Hickenlooper is known for his centrist views; he says he wants the country to move toward a public option, which he envisions as a possible hybrid of Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

Former Colorado governor supports universal health care and thinks the US eventually should provide it.

Hickenlooper opposes “Medicare-for-all,” the single-payer federal system that would guarantee health care coverage.

He rejects eliminating private insurance companies.

He is pro-choice.

Democrat joined other governors in criticizing the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

John Hickenlooper's view on


As governor in 2013, he signed into law bills requiring background checks for private and online gun sales and banning ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.

He is also proposing an assault weapons ban, raising the minimum age to own a gun to 21, national gun licenses and giving states grants to consider red-flag laws.

John Hickenlooper's view on

Climate change/environment

One-time Denver mayor would rejoin Paris climate accord and establish a carbon tax.

He doesn’t support the Green New Deal because its sheer size makes it “difficult to pass in Congress, slowing the urgent pace we need to tackle climate change.”

As governor, he implemented the country’s first rules to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas companies.

He backed Colorado’s shift to fracking and endorses a carbon tax.

John Hickenlooper's view on

Immigration/child-parent separation, detention and border wall

Hickenlooper signed an executive order as governor prohibiting the use of Colorado resources to help implement the Trump administration’s family separation policy at the Southern border, calling the policy “cruel and un-American.”

Hickenlooper also did not send any National Guard troops to the Southern border when Trump called on governors to do so in 2018.

He backs DACA and said he would give the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US an immediate 10-year visa, putting them on a path to citizenship and granting extensions if needed.

John Hickenlooper's view on

Economy/minimum wage/income inequality

Hickenlooper supports pro-business policies and free trade.

He says he would raise the national minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024 and tie it to the cost of living.

Democrat says Green New Deal sets unachievable goals, calling it impractical and divisive.*

*Hickenlooper wrote March 26 in a Washinton Post op-ed that while the Green New Deal has “laudable aims,” it’s too ambitious and broad in scope, which “sets us up for failure.”

John Hickenlooper's view on

Education/student debt/free tuition

Hickenlooper would seek to bring the interest rate on student loans down to 2.5%.

Former Colorado governor supports free community college.

After cutting Colorado’s education budget during the Great Recession, Hickenlooper pushed for an unsuccessful property tax increase to fund Colorado schools.

John Hickenlooper's view on

Foreign policy

Hickenlooper supports free trade but opposes President Trump’s tariffs on China.

Hickenlooper strongly supported the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state of Colorado.

He has said his major foreign policy credentials include overseeing Colorado’s six military bases and forging economic relationships with countries such as Israel.

John Hickenlooper's view on


Hickenlooper said China “represents a generational challenge” for national security; that Russia “actively works against our interests” by propping up Bashar Hafez al-Assad in Syria and Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela; and that North Korea’s nuclear program “threatens its region and beyond.”

He attended the Munich Security Conference in February 2019 where he emphasized wanting to strengthen America’s relationship with its NATO allies and restore free and fair trade between the United States and European countries.

John Hickenlooper's view on


Colorado voters approved a marijuana legalization ballot measure during the 2012 election—a decision that Hickenlooper initially opposed and later described as “reckless.” “This is a bad idea,” Hickenlooper said.*

Since then, he signed a number of cannabis-related bills into law, but he’s stopped short of supporting the end of federal prohibition.

He signed a bill that created the country’s first state-level banking system to service marijuana companies in 2014.

He said he wouldn’t ask the federal government to legalize marijuana for everyone, but in states where it is legal, ask the federal government to get out of the way.

*“You don’t want to be the first person to do something like this,” he said, noting the difficulties of creating a regulatory structure “from scratch” without support from even the federal government. “We weren’t so crazy about being on the cutting edge — the bleeding edge — of legalizing marijuana.”

Colorado Governor: Legalizing Marijuana Was a ‘Bad Idea’