Presidential Hopeful John Hickenlooper Says Socialism Isn’t the Answer

June 11, 2019 by TWN Staff
John Hickenlooper declared his presidential candidacy for the 2020 election, joining a crowded Democratic field. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/TNS) **FOR THIS STORY ONLY**

Candidate: John Hickenlooper

State of Residence: Colorado

Campaign Website: https://www.hickenlooper.com

Before his two terms as governor, Hickenlooper entered politics by running for mayor of Denver, the first time in his life he’d campaigned for any elected position. When he entered office in 2003, he inherited the city’s $70 million budget deficit, the worst in Denver’s history. He got the city’s finances back on track and also was also able to push through a $4.7 billion light-rail transit plan, earning him recognition from Time in 2005 as one of the country’s top five big-city mayors. He easily won re-election in 2007. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/TNS)

Short Bio: Hickenlooper began his career as a geologist and later opened a series of restaurants and brewpubs across the country, including the Wynkoop Brewing Co. in downtown Denver, which helped spark the revitalization of the city’s now-thriving Lower Downtown (“LoDo”) district.

He served as the mayor of Denver, Colorado, from 2003 to 2011. As mayor, he reduced the size of city government, streamlined services and introduced successful programs to reduce homelessness and promote sustainability.

Since taking the oath of office, Hickenlooper and his team have championed innovation, collaboration and efficiency, working to ensure that Colorado and its business-friendly climate is one of the most desirable places to live, work and play.

Under his leadership, the state legislature has passed five consecutive balanced budgets with bipartisan support, and his administration has tackled some of the state’s toughest challenges, through bold initiatives such as the Colorado Blueprint and the Colorado Innovation Network. These programs engage Coloradans to work together to help the state define and achieve its goals.

Hickenlooper graduated from Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in geology. [National Governors Association]

Fun Fact: John Hickenlooper has prosopagnosia, or face blindness, a medical condition that makes it difficult to remember or recognize faces. [CNN]

On the Issues

Health Care: Supports reinforcing the Affordable Care Act. While serving as governor, Hickenlooper led the effort in 2011 to createColorado’s Health Benefit Exchange and expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. He also signed into law critical rules that altered the hospital provider fee in Colorado. The law allowed billions of dollars to flow into the state’s rural areas, and helped keep open many rural clinics.

Hickenlooper joined other governors in criticizing the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He and Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, offered their own bipartisan healthcare reform plan at the time. Hickenlooper has since opposed the administration’s efforts to unravel the law through smaller rule changes, and recently announced he supported universal health care. [PBS]

Trade & Agriculture: Mr. Hickenlooper supports trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a position that puts him at odds with both President Trump and some of his more liberal competitors in the Democratic primary. Last year, in the final months of his term as governor, he and John Kasich, then the Republican governor of Ohio, wrote a letter to the Trump administration opposing the tariffs and the adversarial tone of its efforts to renegotiate Nafta.

The letter emphasized the effects of those policies on rural and blue-collar communities, many of which voted for Mr. Trump but have suffered economically as a result of his tariffs. [New York Times]

Jobs/Economy/Taxes: Was known as a pro-business governor, working to slim down the state’s regulatory environment. He also worked to bring companies to Denver, created an apprentice program for high schoolers and launched a website to retrain displaced workers. [Axios]

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