John Hickenlooper

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 15:11, 10 April 2012 by Gtjanetka (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
John Hickenlooper
Governor of Colorado
In office
January 11, 2011 - Present
Term ends
January 13, 2015
Years in position 3
Base salary$90,000 per year
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limits2 terms
Prior offices
Mayor of Denver
2004 - 2010
Bachelor'sWesleyan University
Master'sWesleyan University
BirthdayFebruary 7, 1952
John Wright Hickenlooper (b. February 7, 1952) is the current Democratic Governor of Colorado and the former Mayor of Denver. Before entering politics, Hickenlooper was a prominent and successful entrepreneur, considered to be part of the revitalization of Denver historic “LoDo” (Lower Downtown) area.


Hickenlooper was born in Narbergh, Pennsylvania. After losing his father, he was raised by his mother; he credits his approach to managing Denver's budget to her exceptionally frugal housekeeping, something she learned after living through the Depression.

He earned both a BA and MA from Wesleyan University and moved to Denver in 1981 to take a job as a geologist with Buckhorn Petroleum at the height of the city's oil boom. He lost his when Denver's economy faltered in the 1980s and ultimately became a key player in revitalizing downtown Denver LoDo district. He bought a neglected warehouse in the district's heart and, in 1988, founded what is now the The Wynkoop Brewing Co. at 16th and Wynkoop. In the late 1980s, the area of Denver between Union Station and the Capitol Hill was dangerous and rundown; a key aspect of his business's success was in drawing people to visit at all.

Redeveloping the Denver Bronco's home stadium and bringing a Major League Baseball franchise to the city were huge boosts to redeveloping the city and Hickenlooper was heavily involved in both. Today, the Colorado Rockies' play at Coors Field; the decision to situate the stadium at 20th and Blake in the northern part of the LoDo neighborhood was a coup for the businessmen working to improve the area's reputation.

LoDo is today filled with high end shopping and restaurants; its residential areas feature lofts that sell for close to seven figures and Hickenlooper's restaurant, often simply referred to as "the Wynkoop", is seen as anchor of downtown Denver.


  • Wesleyan University (M.A.), 1980
  • Wesleyan University (B.A.), 1974

Political career

Governor of Colorado (2011-Present)

Hickenlooper first won election in 2010 and assumed office in January 2011.

Judicial appointments

As governor, Hickenlooper is responsible for appointing judges to Colorado state courts. In Colorado, the governor makes a judicial appointment after candidates are recommended by a judicial nominating commission. After the governor appoints a judge, she or he must serve at least two years in office before running for election. For an up-to-date list of all of Hickenlooper's appointees, see Judgepedia's page on his appointments.


Labor Department appointee

Hickenlooper appointed Ellen Golombek the Executive Director of the Department of Labor and Employment. The announcement stirred up passions among Republicans, who said the development was bad for business. They cited Golombek’s ties to organized labor, including her onetime leadership of the Colorado AFL-CIO. At the time of her appointment, Golombek was the state director for America Votes, an organization whose stated purpose is to “advance progressive policies, expand access to the ballot, coordinate issue advocacy and election campaigns, and protect every American’s right to vote.”

Colorado State Senate Minority leader Mike Kopp said Hickenlooper’s appointment would trigger fears among the state’s employers. “His selection of a noted progressive activist and union boss in Ms. Golombek certainly will raise plenty of eyebrows in Colorado’s business community,” said Kopp.[1]

Mayor of Denver (2004-2010)

Hickenlooper's 2003 race for Mayor of Denver was his first foray into politics; he won an easy re-election in 2007 and is well-liked in Colorado's capitol. Denver, a city and a county in Colorado, technically has non-artisan municipal elections. However, Hickenlooper's Democratic affiliation likely helped him in both his campaigns. Since taking public office, Hickenlooper's business interests have been in a blind trust.



See also: Colorado gubernatorial election, 2010 and Gubernatorial elections, 2010

Hickenlooper did not have any opposition in the August 10 primary. He defeated Dan Maes (R), Jaimes Brown (L), and Tom Tancredo (C) in the general election on November 2, 2010.

Campaign donors

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of John Hickenlooper & Joseph Garcia's donors each year.[2] Click [show] for more information.


Hickenlooper and his wife, writer Helen Thorpe, have one son, Teddy. The family lives in the Park Hill neighborhood of Denver.

See also

External links

Light Bulb Icon.svg.png
Suggest a link