Denver's mayor says he wants to be Colorado's next governor.
In an announcement this afternoon at the state capitol, Democrat John Hickenlooper announced he would seek the state's top job this year.
Hickenlooper, 57, has been mayor the Mile High City since 2003.
"I love Colorado every bit as much as I love Denver," Hickenlooper told a large crowd at a packed news conference.
The former geologist and brewpub owner, who is in his second term at Denver's helm, immediately drew the endorsements of nearly every notable Democratic politician in the state.
Gov. Bill Ritter lauded Hickenlooper's commitment to fiscal conservatism and record of job creation in Denver.
“John Hickenlooper is a great mayor and he's going to be a great governor," Ritter said. "As someone who comes out of the private sector, Mayor Hickenlooper's commitment to fiscal responsibility and job creation will keep moving Colorado toward a strong, stable and sustainable recovery."
U.S. representatives Diana DeGette, Jared Polis, John Salazar, Betsy Markey and Ed Perlmutter have also endorsed Hickenlooper, as have U.S. senators Mark Udall and Michael F. Bennet.
Hickenlooper has had success in convincing Denver voters to go along with his priorities for the city, securing approval of local tax increases for a variety of purposes. He is also known for developing and implementing a plan to help the city's homeless population, reforming the municipal government's civil service system and embarking on efforts to lower its aggregate carbon footprint.
On the other hand, Hickenlooper has been criticized for not taking a more assertive stance on the issue of undocumented immigrants.