Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper will run for president, he announced in a video Monday morning.
“I’m John Hickenlooper, and I’m running for president because we’re facing a crisis that threatens everything we stand for,” the former governor said in the video, over images of President Donald Trump.
The video runs through a series of crises Hickenlooper dealt with as governor, from floods, fires, and drought to the 2012 mass shooting at an Aurora movie theater. “I’ve proven again and again I can bring people together to produce the progressive change Washington has failed to deliver,” he added, pointing to his work addressing those crises, like expanding health care coverage and universal background checks, creating methane emission laws, and boosting job growth in the state.
The campaign will kick off in Civic Center Park in Denver on Thursday.
Hickenlooper, who spent eight years as governor of Colorado before leaving office in January, had been publicly considering a bid for several months, and has spent time in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
In the run up to his formal announcement, he pitched himself as a practical progressive, pointing to his record of accomplishments as governor, including expanding Medicaid and signing into law legislation that requires universal background checks for gun purchases.
“I think an awful lot of people in Congress are great at coming up with visions. They’re great at debating the issues; we need dreamers and debaters,” Hickenlooper said in Iowa last month. “I’m a doer. … I feel like I’m the one person that has actually gotten people together and gotten stuff done.”
Hickenlooper came to politics by way of beer — he was a geologist who opened a brewpub after being laid off, and his business success led to a run for mayor of Denver in 2002. After two terms as mayor, he ran for governor and was elected in 2010. He left office earlier this year, after being term-limited out.
Hickenlooper joins a rapidly expanding field of Democrats seeking to topple Trump in 2020. He may be one of several Western state governors in the field: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced last week, and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is considering a bid. And Hickenlooper might even have competition closer to home: Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet is also looking at a run.