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Former Sen. Salazar won't run for governor; endorses Denver mayor Hickenlooper

Interior secretary and former U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar will not run for governor, according to a report published online this afternoon by the Denver Post.

Salazar, a former state attorney general, had been considered a leading contender to replace Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter, who announced Wednesday that he will not seek a second term.

The Post report says that Salazar has endorsed Denver mayor John Hickenlooper for the job.

""John Hickenlooper is a uniter," Salazar told the Post. "He brings people together. He can bring business and labor together."

Hickenlooper has said that he is considering a run for the state's top job.

Salazar was one of Colorado's U.S. senators between Jan. 2005 and Jan. 2009, when he resigned to take a cabinet position in the administration of President Barack Obama.

Obama had given Salazar his approval for a decision to leave the administration to return home for a gubernatorial run.

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