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Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper grew up outside of Philadelphia, the youngest of four children. He attended Wesleyan University and received a bachelor's in English and a master's degree in Geology. Hickenlooper followed an unusual route into politics, beginning his professional life as a geologist with Buckhorn Petroleum in the 1980s. But the oil bust in the mid-'80s cost him his job in 1986. There were no jobs to be had in the oil industry, so Hickenlooper went into the brewpub business, opening the Wynkoop Brewing Co. The brewery with 15 brewpubs and restaurants, was a success, and it made him a millionaire. In 2003, Hickenlooper ran for Mayor of Denver, in his first ever campaign. Considered a bit of a dark horse candidate who never ran a negative ad, he shocked many and won in a landslide. In 2010, Hickenlooper became the first Denver Mayor elected Governor in 120 years. He was re-elected in 2014, running on another entirely positive campaign Hickenlooper is the second governor or former governor to announce a Democratic presidential bid this cycle, following Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.
Finishing his second term in the statehouse, Hickenlooper was a popular, pro-business governor. He left Colorado with a strong economy and his tenure was marked by an emphasis on consensus-building. It's that record that he touted in h is campaign video. "I'm running for president because we need dreamers in Washington but we also need to get things done," Hickenlooper says in the video. "I've proven again and again I can bring people together to produce the progressive change Washington has failed to deliver." As governor, Hickenlooper also signed an expansion of Medicaid in 2013. He has not expressed support for a single-payer health system. Hickenlooper has opposed a number of Trump administration policies, including plans to scale back on federal coal emission restrictions, and has been generally critical of the president's approach to business. Over the summer, he called for an investigation into the separation of thousands of children from their families at the border, and he opposed the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
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