Colorado’s Gardner-Hickenlooper Senatorial Race

Dems try to flip Colorado seat in the Senate

2020 election also includes senate seats; colorado seat up for a party flip.
Photo Courtesy of John Hickenlooper’s Facebook Page and Cory Gardner’s Facebook Page

Colorado’s 2020 senatorial race is being watched nationwide by nail-biting political enthusiasts and politicians alike. The race is crucial as Republicans fight to keep their slim 53-47 senate majority. Incumbent  Cory Gardner (R) is running against former governor John Hickenlooper (D).

Hickenlooper originally came to Colorado to work as a geologist. Following a layoff, he started a brewing company with some friends. He was elected Mayor of Denver in 2003. One project of note was Hickenlooper’s ambitious ten-year plan to “end homelessness,” which ultimately was deemed unsuccessful, in part due to faulty operations and inadequate data collection, according to Colorado Public Radio.  

Hickenlooper was the Mayor of Denver until he won the governorship, presiding from 2011 to 2017. In March 2019, Hickenlooper attempted a long-shot presidential bid, which eventually failed to launch, ending that August.   

Gardner served as state representative from 2005 till 2010. He flipped a Congressional House seat to Republican, serving from 2010 to 2014. Gardner again flipped a seat in the Senate, where he’s served since 2014. Gardner recently championed some notable accomplishments as senator. He pushed for the successful passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (permanently securing land and water funding). Gardner also advocated for legislation that paved way for a national suicide hotline number. Poll-aggregating website FiveThirtyEight found that Gardner voted with President Trump 90% of the time. Conversely, Gardner was also ranked as the third most bipartisan senator by Georgetown University and The Lugar Center. 

Three senatorial debates transpired ahead of the election, where certain topics made recurring appearances. The most prominent subjects, as reflected in aggressive ad campaigns, were Hickenlooper’s ethics violations and previous reluctance to run for senator, as well as Gardner’s voting record and closeness to President Trump. 

During his presidential run, Hickenlooper was asked by KOA NewsRadio why he was seeking the presidency rather than the senate seat. Hickenlooper replied that the Senate didn’t attract or satisfy him and that he wasn’t good at the skill set necessary for the job. He tried walking back these comments in the third debate.  

In June 2020, Hickenlooper was fined for violating the gift ban, going on private flights, and utilizing private security while on a trip to Italy, all while he served as Colorado governor. The investigation of Hickenlooper’s doings cost taxpayers $127,000 to hire a private attorney. The money was withdrawn from funds allocated for post-9/11 relief, according to The Denver Post.  

Currently, poll aggregator website RealClearPolitics shows Hickenlooper projected to win by 8-10 points over Gardner.

This is a selection from the Oct. 28 issue. To view the full issue, visit:

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