“I know changing Washington is hard, but I want to give it a shot. I’m not done fighting for the people of Colorado,” Hickenlooper said in a video posted to his campaign website.
Hickenlooper dropped out of the 2020 presidential race after failing to make much headway within the crowded Democratic field. He spent his short time race campaigning against the term “socialism,” often to frustrated voters, while trying to cast himself as a moderate who could unify the country.
“I will never stop believing that America can only move forward when we work together,” Hickenlooper said in a statement announcing his withdrawal from the presidential race.
At the time, he left open the door to a Senate run, saying many of his fellow Coloradans had urged him to campaign to represent the state in Washington.
Hickenlooper is hoping to unseat Colorado’s junior Sen. Cory Gardner (R), seen as one of the more vulnerable Republicans in 2020 as Democrats seek to wrest control of the upper chamber from the GOP.
Hickenlooper previously served two terms as the mayor of Denver followed by two terms as Colorado governor before he left office in 2018 due to term limits.
He joins an already crowded field of 11 candidates who have already announced bids to challenge Gardner. But The Denver Post notes that while many national Democrats think Hickenlooper may be the party’s best shot at winning the seat, local candidates have no plans to hand him the race easily.
“He’ll have a fight on his hands,” Colorado state Sen. Angela Williams told the paper earlier this month. “If he’s going to switch gears and run for the Senate, he has a lot to explain to Colorado voters. This won’t be a coronation.”