DENVER — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper officially filed paperwork with the Secretary of State Tuesday to seek a second term, following through on a promise he’d already made hundreds of times publicly.
Hickenlooper, a Democrat, is favored to win reelection, although his disapproval rating has gone up in the last several months as he presided over a Democrat-controlled legislature and signed controversial gun control measures into law.
His decision in late May to grant a temporary reprieve to Chuck E. Cheese killer Nathan Dunlap prompted the first wave of Republican opponents to enter the race, starting with Tom Tancredo, the former GOP congressman who challenged Hickenlooper in 2010 on the American Constitution Party line after the Republican nominee, Dan Maes, failed to mount a serious campaign.
Secretary of State Scott Gessler filed paperwork on May 23 to form an exploratory committee around a run for governor; nearly three months later, the controversial Republican has yet to formally declare his intent to run.
State Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, entered the race in July.
Former Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp, R-Littleton, who now heads up the Intermountain Rural Electric Association, which is still smarting over the passage this year of Senate Bill 252, which forces REAs to draw more energy from renewable sources, has also indicated he may join the primary field.
But the candidate Republican donors are waiting for is Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, who surfaced as a candidate in May after giving a speech attacking Hickenlooper for the Dunlap reprieve.
Brauchler, a clean-cut prosecutor with little political baggage in the way of controversial votes that Democrats could use to turn off swing voters, is trying to decide if it makes sense to walk away from the prosecution of Aurora theater gunman James Holmes in order to run for governor less than a year after being elected in the state’s largest judicial district.