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Ex-Colorado governor enters 2020 melee.

Byline: Nicholas Riccardi Associated Press

DENVER -- Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said Monday that he's running for president, casting himself as a can-do uniter who's used to overcoming adversity and accomplishing liberal goals in a politically divided state.

"I'm running for president because we need dreamers in Washington, but we also need to get things done," Hickenlooper, 67, said in a video announcing his campaign. "I've proven again and again I can bring people together to produce the progressive change Washington has failed to deliver."

Hickenlooper made his fortune by building a mini-empire of restaurants and bars after being laid off from his position as a geologist for a petroleum company in the 1980s. He becomes the second governor to enter the sprawling field, after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced last week, and is trying to cast himself as a pragmatist who can also take on President Donald Trump. Though as governor Hickenlooper prided himself for staying above partisan fights, he has argued his record as a former governor and mayor of Denver distinguishes him from a broad field of Democratic presidential aspirants who are backing ambitious liberal plans on health care, taxes and the climate. Hickenlooper has hedged on supporting Democratic rallying cries like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal to combat climate change.

After the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, Hickenlooper called for gun control legislation and signed bills requiring universal background checks and limiting magazine capacity to 15 rounds.

"We're a purple state that got universal background checks passed," he told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday, stressing how he can "bring people together on the other side and actually get stuff done."

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Title Annotation:Political_
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Geographic Code:1U8CO
Date:Mar 5, 2019
Words:277
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