It's official: Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper is running for governor.
OK, Hickenlooper announced that he planned to run for governor back in January after fellow Democrat Gov. Bill Ritter said he wasn't going to seek a second term. But in the long weeks that followed, Hickenlooper lacked a Web site, a staff or anything else that might hint at a campaign.
Well, today we received a rallying e-mail from the Hickenlooper campaign, complete with a logo on top and everything. (It's pasted below.) It appears the staff is in place and the campaign is starting to go about the business of recruiting donors and volunteers.
The most interesting part of the email may be where he promises, "We're not going to run a typical campaign. We're all as tired as you are of the mudslinging. We need to balance the budget and put people back to work, and we don't want to waste time and money on negative TV ads."
That might be one of the more commonly broken promises in politics, but Hickenlooper at least has the luxury of being popular. Even with no campaign to speak of, polls have shown him in a tight race with Republican frontrunner Scott McInnis.
This is exciting.
To be honest, I didn't expect to be running for Governor of Colorado in 2010. As mayor of Denver, I already have a great job. But I'm humbled to take on the challenge. And with only seven months to go, we've got our work cut out for us.
We're not going to run a typical campaign. We're all as tired as you are of the mudslinging. We need to balance the budget and put people back to work, and we don't want to waste time and money on negative TV ads. We're going to campaign the way we've always done business — by bringing people together, listening to their issues and finding solutions.
And it starts with you — click here and let us know what your priorities are and your ideas on how we can work together to create jobs and strengthen Colorado's economy.
I never planned to run for office. I came to Denver 30 years ago with a degree in geology and a job in the energy industry. The oil bust came, and I found myself without a job. That's when I discovered the small businessman within me. I took my severance package and helped start a brewpub in a part of Denver that had been struggling for decades. People thought we were crazy at first, but we didn't quit. We worked hard, and in the end we built fourteen successful restaurants and created more than 1,000 good-paying jobs.
One of the things that helped put us over the top was the input we got from our customers and staff. People were always willing to share their ideas on how to brew a better beer or provide a better dinner. If it was good, we put it to work.
That was our approach to the restaurant business, it's how we've managed Denver, and it's how we'll govern Colorado.
In dealing with Denver's budget shortfall, we took good ideas from everywhere. Our janitorial staff suggested if they clean offices during the day, instead of at night, we would use less energy and save money. We ran the numbers and found that by making this common-sense change, the city of Denver would save $200,000 dollars every year.
We have some great ideas, and we bet you do too.
Click here to send me yours today and, together, let's put them to work.
We'll write you back to share the best ones. If you have an idea that will put people to work, save Colorado money, or just generally improve the quality of life in Colorado, we want to hear it.
We know this is not the way that most campaigns are run. But Colorado is facing some big challenges. We need new approaches. We're confident that, together, we can turn this economy around and come out stronger than we went in.
We can't wait to see what you have to say!