John Hickenlooper Wikipedia

John Hickenlooper
John Hickenlooper - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012 cropped.jpg
Hickenlooper at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Davos (2012)
42nd Governor of Colorado
Assumed office

January 11, 2011
LieutenantJoseph Garcia
Preceded byBill Ritter
43rd Mayor of Denver
In office

July 21, 2003 – January 11, 2011
Preceded byWellington Webb
Succeeded byBill Vidal
Personal details
BornJohn Wright Hickenlooper, Jr.

(1952-02-07) February 7, 1952 (age 62)

Narberth, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Helen Thorpe (separated)
ChildrenTed Hickenlooper
ResidenceColorado Governor's Mansion

Denver, Colorado (public) Park Hill (private)
Alma materWesleyan University
WebsiteOfficial website
John Wright Hickenlooper, Jr. (born February 7, 1952) is an American politician and the 42nd and current Governor of Colorado. A member of the Democratic Party, Hickenlooper has served as Governor since 2011.

Born in Narberth, Pennsylvania, Hickenlooper is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Colorado School of Mines. Starting his career as geologist, Hickenlooper entered a career in business and cofounded the Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado. Hickenlooper was elected the 43rd Mayor of Denver in 2003, serving two terms until 2011.

After incumbent Governor Bill Ritter announced that he would not seek reelection, Hickenlooper announced his intentions to run for the Democratic nomination in January 2010. He won in an uncontested primary and faced Constitution Party candidate, former Representative Tom Tancredo, and Republican businessman Dan Maes in the general election, where he won with 51% of the vote. Hickenlooper was sworn into office on January 11, 2011.


      Early life, education and career

      Hickenlooper was born in Narberth, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia, a middle-class area of the suburban Main Line. He is the son of Anne (née Morris) and John Wright Hickenlooper. He was raised by his mother after his father died when he was young. He graduated from the nearby, private Haverford School for boys in 1970, going on to attend Wesleyan University where he received a B.A. in English in 1974 and a master’s degree in geology in 1980 from Colorado School of Mines.

      Before becoming mayor in July 2003 Hickenlooper worked as a geologist for Buckhorn Petroleum in the early 1980s. But with the collapse of the oil industry in Colorado, Hickenlooper became unemployed and opened several restaurants in Denver in the late 1980s. He is often considered a prominent figure in the LoDo urban renewal period during the early 1990s. He was one of the founders of the original Wynkoop Brewing Company brewpub; these and others companies contributed to the redevelopment of the area following the arrival of major league baseball in the neighborhood. The area had been known to be dangerous; Hickenlooper is quoted as saying, "I must've had rocks in my head." The rent for Wynkoop's real estate was $1 per square foot per year.

      Mayor of Denver

      Hickenlooper's first tasks included handling the city's budget crisis and changing its career personnel system. His cabinet appointees were relatively young. Mayor Hickenlooper is a member of the gun control group Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, an organization formed in 2006 and co-chaired by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston mayor Thomas Menino. Hickenlooper resigned as mayor at 8 am on January 11, 2011, hours before being inaugurated as Colorado's Governor.

      Municipal elections in Denver are nonpartisan. Hickenlooper won re-election for the office of Mayor in May 2007 with 87% of the vote. In 2005, he was named by Time as being one of the five best big-city mayors in the US.

      Political positions

      Campaign for the homeless

      Hickenlooper has campaigned for increasing homeless services since taking office in 2003. He announced a "10 year plan to end homelessness" at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.

      Cannabis legalization

      In 2006, Denver became one of the first major U.S. cities to legalize the medical use of and decriminalize possession (of less than one ounce) of cannabis by those over age 18. Hickenlooper opposed the cannabis rescheduling initiative, which voters approved 53.49%–46.51%, but he did say that the vote "reflect[s] a genuine shift in people's attitudes". Under the current Denver Police interpretation of the law, supported by Hickenlooper, the initiative doesn't usurp the state law, the Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS). The CRS currently treats cannabis possession similarly to exceeding a speed limit, with fines of up to $100 and no jail time. In 2012, Amendment 64 was added to the Colorado constitution allowing possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for those over 21 for recreational use. Though Hickenlooper has been publicly against this policy as well, he does say he will enforce the will of the people.

      Greenprint Denver

      In his State of the City address on July 12, 2006, Hickenlooper announced an initiative called Greenprint Denver to promote sustainable development and practices and reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the 2006 U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. The initiative, guided by a leadership group of city and community members, features a series of goals to meet over a five-year period.

      Gun control

      On March 20, 2013, Hickenlooper signed bills HB1224, HB1228 and HB1229. HB1224 created a limit of 15 rounds in magazines that could be bought, sold or transferred within the state. HB1228 taxes firearm transfers to recover costs of the background checks from HB1229. HB1229 requires background checks for any firearm transfer within the state. He signed hours after a member of his cabinet was assassinated. Passage of these bills resulted in the historic first recall in Colorado history of Democratic Senate President John Morse, and Democratic senator Angela Giron. Democratic Senator Evie Hudak later resigned rather than face her own recall election on this issue.

      Capital punishment

      On May 22, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper granted an indefinite stay of execution to Nathan Dunlap, who was facing execution for the 1996 murder of four persons at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. The decision came after victims' families asked Hickenlooper to allow the execution of Dunlap to proceed as scheduled. Hickenlooper stated: "It is a legitimate question whether we as a state should be taking lives.”

      Political campaigns

      2006 Colorado gubernatorial race

      Hickenlooper was viewed as a possible contender for Governor of Colorado in the November 2006 election to replace term-limited Republican Governor Bill Owens. Despite a "Draft Hick" campaign, he officially announced on February 6, 2006 that he would not seek the Democratic nomination for governor. Later, he threw his support behind Democratic candidate Bill Ritter, Denver's former District Attorney, who was subsequently elected.

      2008 Democratic National Convention

      Hickenlooper speaks on the first day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.
      Hickenlooper was an executive member of the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee and helped lead the successful campaign for Denver to host the landmark 2008 Democratic National Convention, which was also the centennial anniversary of the city's hosting of the 1908 Democratic National Convention.

      In a controversial move decried by critics as breaching partisan ethics, the Hickenlooper administration arranged for the DNC host committee members, a private non-profit organization, to get untaxed fuel from Denver city-owned pumps, saving them $0.404 per gallon of fuel.

      2008 Senate seat appointment

      According to The Denver Post, he was considered to be the frontrunner to fill the United States Senate seat to be vacated by Ken Salazar upon his expected confirmation to be Secretary of the Interior in the Obama Administration. Hickenlooper had confirmed his interest in the seat. However, on January 3, 2009, Gov. Bill Ritter appointed Denver Public Schools Superintendent Michael Bennet to the position. Bennet previously served as Chief of Staff to Mayor Hickenlooper.

      2010 Colorado gubernatorial race

      Main article: Colorado gubernatorial election, 2010
      After Governor Ritter announced on January 6, 2010 that he would step down at the end of his term, Hickenlooper was cited as a potential candidate for state governor. Hickenlooper stated that if Secretary Salazar mounted a bid for governor, he would likely not challenge him in a Democratic primary. On January 7, 2010, Salazar confirmed that he would not be running for governor in 2010 and endorsed Hickenlooper for the position. On January 12, 2010, media outlets reported that Hickenlooper would begin a campaign for Colorado governor. On August 5, 2010, Hickenlooper selected CSU-Pueblo president Joseph A. Garcia as his running mate. In the general election, Hickenlooper was elected with 51% of the vote.

      Governor of Colorado

      Governor John Hickenlooper
      On January 11, 2011, John Hickenlooper was sworn in as the 42nd Governor Of Colorado. On December 4, 2012, Governor Hickenlooper was elected to serve as the vice chair of the Democratic Governors Association in 2013.

      Personal life

      Hickenlooper's wife (from whom he is currently separated), Helen Thorpe, is a writer whose work has been published in The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, George, and Texas Monthly. Prior to the separation, they lived in Denver's Park Hill neighborhood with their son, Teddy. Upon taking office as Governor, Hickenlooper and his family decided to maintain their private residence instead of moving to the Colorado Governor's Mansion. On July 31, 2012, Gov. Hickenlooper announced that he and his wife were separating after 10 years of marriage.

      Following his separation from his wife, Hickenlooper moved into the Colorado Governor's Mansion

      In 2010, Hickenlooper told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he and Thorpe attend Quaker meetings and try to live by Quaker values.

      A cousin, George Hickenlooper, was an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker before his death in late 2010. John made a cameo appearance in George's 2010 film Casino Jack.

      Other relatives include Olga Hickenlooper (a.k.a. Olga Samaroff), a concert pianist who was the first wife of conductor Leopold Stokowski, and Bourke Hickenlooper, who served as Governor of Iowa and as U.S. Senator from Iowa.

      Hickenlooper appears in Kurt Vonnegut's novel, Timequake. In November 2012, Esquire interviewed Hickenlooper as one of the "Americans of the Year 2012".

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