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Who is John Hickenlooper?

Take a closer look at the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

John Wright Hickenlooper Jr.

Born: February 7, 1952

Birthplace: Narberth, Pennsylvania

Age on Inauguration Day: 54

Party affiliation: Democrat

Campaign website:  hickenlooper.com

Education: Wesleyan University (Bachelor’s degree in English; Master’s degree in Geology)

Professions: Geologist; brewer

Public office: Denver Mayor (2003-2011); Colorado Governor (2011-2019)

Personal: Married Helen Thorpe and had one son before the couple separated in 2012, then divorced; Married Robin Pringle in 2016.

Life and career:

  • After starting his career as a geologist in the late 1980s, he founded Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver.
  • In his first term as Denver mayor, he helped the city eliminate a $70 million deficit.
  • As governor, he led Colorado to establish regulations for legalized marijuana for recreational use, even though he disagreed with voters approving the measure in 2012. But he told CNN in 2018 he was not against re-criminalizing it.
  • Signed gun-control bills that limited the size of magazines to 15 rounds and established universal background checks.
  • According to a Denver Post biography, Hickenlooper’s supporters and detractors both say “his greatest success was in getting opposing sides to sit down and negotiate compromises on policy matters.”
  • Was mentioned as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Sources:  Denver Post; Biography.com; Ballotpedia

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