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Political Note #295 John Hickenlooper US Senate Colorado
2020 General Election
The brutal death in Minneapolis, the legitimate protests that followed, and the violence we have witnessed have affected all Americans deeply, particularly members of the black and other communities of color.
As we rebuild lives, jobs, businesses, and, families, we shall remember those who have persevered through terrible struggles. In particular, we remember those who have fought the racial injustice that has existed in this country for 400 years.
Let’s make certain we create cities, states, and a nation that is characterized by racial justice. Let’s pledge to ourselves and to others that we will ensure that every single person has the opportunity he or she deserves, that every person has the support that he or she deserves, and that every person is treated with decency, fairness, and respect.
Colorado’s. primary is scheduled for June 30th. When the primary is over, John Hickenlooper https://hickenlooper.com will be the Democratic nominee even though he has a formidable opponent in Andrew Romanoff, the former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives. John Hickenlooper has won the money race already. He began April with $4.9 Million while Romanoff was at $800,000.
“Be careful who you pretend to be, because that is who you are going to be” is a phrase that John Hikcenlooper says has guided his life. He adopted it from a friend of his father who became his friend as well – Kurt Vonnegut, author of funny, edgy, and often angry anti-establishment novels. in 2018, John Hickenlooper announced that, despite his regular attendance at Quaker meetings, despite his Quaker Prep School, despite being raised as a Quaker by his mother, he was not a Quaker.
His father was not a Quaker. He was a steel mill executive and part of a family with several notable members. There was a general on the Hickenlooper side. John Hickenlooper’s great grandfather Andrew was a Lt. Colonel of Artillery who fought at Shiloh and Vicksburg and was promoted to general after the war was over. There was a judge on the Hickenlooper side. His great uncle Smith was a judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. There was a pianist on the Hickenlooper side. Cousin Lucy Mary Agnes whose stage name was Olga Samaroff discovered Leopold Stokowski as a church organist and, much more famous than he was at the time, married him. There was a documentary film maker on the Hickenlooper side. His cousin George won an Emmy.
And John Hickenlooper? He was a geologist. He worked in the oil industry, an industry with its ups and downs. During one of the downs, he opened a brewpub – one of the first in the country — in the run down Lower Downtrown, warehouse section of Denver. John Hickenlooper made the brewpub a success, partly by organizing the businesses in the area and turning the area into a destination. He eventually sold the brewpub and the additional businesses he created to his employees.
As he built the Lower Downtown community into a destination, John Hickenlooper built relationships with businessmen and politicians. He was so good at building these relationships, he seemed a natural to run for and be elected mayor of Denver which is what happened.
It is shocking really that John Hickenlooper became a politician. He has one of the most serious handicaps a politician can have – prosopagnosia. He can’t recognize one face from another.
As Mayor and later as Governor of Colorado, he built a reputation. He was as he appeared to be, a practical and relatively non-partisan figure. He opposed the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes for practical, not moral reasons. He preferred, he said, to see how it worked out elsewhere. By 2016, he acknowledged Colorado’s legislation was working well.
He supported gun safety legislation, legislation which generated a backlash that ousted some Colorado legislators through recalls. He opposed capital punishment, postponing the execution and then making the postponement indefinite of a 19 year old convicted of killing four restaurant employees. He supported fracking, insisting that the liquid used for fracking was safe. To prove his point, he drank some. He targeted methane produced by fracking wells, supported and signed legislation that has been a model for other states. He has suggested that there were other, more practical ways to make health insurance widely available than Medicare for Care for All.
John Hickenlooper viewed himself as a practical Governor, a centrist and a problem solver and imagined himself as that kind of President. Running for. President, he seemed more a geologist than a colorful politician with an interesting history and interesting family. He left the presiedential race and turned quickly to a run for the US Senate. He saw himself as the pundits saw him — as having a reasonable chance to defeat the first term incumbent Cory Gardner.
John Hickenlooper has an obstacle to overcome. Republicans, dressed up in an organization that sounds like a good citizen group, brought an ethics complaint against him. For airplane travel he has taken in his last year as Governor. For the use of federal money on a puff website. Exploring the charges has been complicated by the coronavirus. The ethics committee won’t meet in person. John Hickenlooper won’t meet with them via the internet. So far, the complaint has not made big waves.
National Democrats wanted John Hickenlooper to be the Democratic nominee for the Senate because they have confidence in him and believe he can defeat first term incumbent Republican Corey Gardner. A year ago, Politico described Gardner’s problem as Trump’s unpopularity and Gardner’s unquestioning support for the President. Little has changed during the year. If anything, as Trump’s incompetence dealing with the coronavirus becomes more and more evident, the Politico analysis is more true.
Nevertheless, especially in a national crisis, it is hard to defeat an incumbent. Help John Hickenlooper https://hickenlooper.com defeat incumbent Cory Gardner. Contribute. John Hickenlooper’s nearly $5 million at the beginning of April is a lot of money. Gardner’s $9.5 million doubles that. Every dollar counts. Send John Hickenlooper a few. We need to flip the Senate.
Help these Senate candidates. A surprising number of these candidates just might win and flip the Senate. Check lenspoliticalnotes.com for more complete descriptions of the candidates described in bold. Democrats gain control of the Senate if they win a net of four seats.
DEMOCRATS ARE AHEAD
Arizona Astronaut Mark Kelly, gun safety leader supported by his wife former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords v. Incumbent and ex fighter pilot Martha McSally. March 31 Cash on hand: McSally $10 million. Kelly $20 million. Polls: May Kelly 51-41, 51-38 April Kelly 51-42, March Kelly 50-44, March Kelly 48-36
Colorado Former Governor John Hickenlooper v Incumbent attorney and party activist Senator Cory Gardner. March 31 Cash on hand: Gardner $9.5 million, Hickenlooper $5 million, House Speaker Romanoff $1 million. Polls: August, 2019. Hickenlooper 53-40
Michigan Incumbent Democrat Gary Peters has a tough opponent in African-American Businessman John James. March 31 Cash on hand: Peters $8.7 Million, Johnson $8.5 Million. Polls: April Peters 46-36, March Peters 42-35, February Peters 45-39, January Peters 44-40
RACES THAT ARE CLOSE TO EVEN; MONEY COULD BE CRUCIAL
Montana Steve Bullock, popular Democratic Governor of Montana versus corporate-oriented incumbent Steve Daines. March 31 Cash on hand: Daines $5.5 Million, Bullock $3 Million. Polls: May Bullock 46-39, March 47-47 Tie.
Maine Speaker of the ME House, Sara Gideon v former moderate Senator, Susan Collins. March 31 Cash on hand: Collins $5.5 Million, Gideon $4.5 Million Polls: May Gideon 51-42 March Gideon 47-43 February Gideon 43-42, June 2019 Collins 44-30, June 2019 Collins 52-36
Kentucky Retired Marine Pilot Amy McGrath and conservative Democrat v Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. March 31 Cash on hand: McConnell $15 Million, McGrath $15 Million, Charles Booker $70,000. Polls January Tie McConnell v McGrath 41-41, January, McConnell 43-40, September 2019 McConnell 47-46, August, 2019 McConnell 47-45
North Carolina. Businessman, environmentalist, and veteran, Cal Cunningham v Incumbent Thom Tillis. March 31 Cash on Hand: Tillis $6.5 Million, Cunningham $3 Million. Polls: May Cunningham 46-44, Tillis 41-40, April Cunningham 41-39, 47-40, April Tillis 38-34, March Cunningham 48-43, Tillis 44-42
Kansas Physician and former Republican State Senator Barbara Boliier for Open Republican Seat in Kansas. Cash on hand: March 31 Bollier $2.4 Million. Several Republicans competing in the primary: Businessman Bob Hamilton $2 Million, Congressman Roger Marshall $2 Million, ex KS Secretary of State State Kris Kobach $300,000, ex KC Chief football player David Lindstrom $300,000. Polls: In a large field, despite a modest amount of money, right wing cult anti-immigration figure Kobach is probably a slight favorite to be the Republican nominee. April Bollier 44-42 v Kobach, February Kobach 47-38, February 43-43 tie
Alaska Physician and Commercial Fisherman Al Gross v. incumbent and attorney with military connections Dan Sullivan. March 31: Sullivan’s cash on hand $4.5 million. Gross’s cash on hand $2 million. No polls.
Iowa Businesswoman and civic leader Theresa Greenfield v unpopular incumbent Joni Ernst. March 31 Cash on hand: Ernst $4.5 Million, Greenfield $2 Million, Businessman Eddie Mauro $1 Million. Polls: April Ernst v. Greenfield 43-42, December, 2019 Ernst v Greenfield 47-41, October, 2019 Ernst v. Greenfield 47-40
REPUBLICANS ARE AHEAD, MONEY FOR DEMOCRATS COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE
South Carolina Former Party Chair Jaime Harrison v incumbent, former moderate Republican Lindsay Graham. March 31 Cash on hand Graham $12 Million, Harrison $8 Million. Polls: May Tied 42-42, March Graham 47-43
Alabama Incumbent ex US Attorney and KKK Prosecutor Doug Jones v ex Senator and ex Secretary of State Jeff Sessions or former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville. March 31 Cash on hand. Jones $5.5 Million. Sessions $750,000, Tuberville $500,000. Polls: Primary Poll. February Sessions 32-30, March Tuberville 52-40. No Polls for the General Election
Georgia (A) Jon Ossoff v incumbent David Perdue. Cash on Hand March 31. Perdue $9 Million, Ossoff $2 Million, Teresa Tomlinson $400,000, Sarah Riggs Amico $200,000. Polls May Ossoff 47-45 May Perdue v. Ossoff 46-41
Georgia (B) Five candidates. The top two will be in a run off. Three Democrats: The Reverend Dr. Raphael Warnock, Senior Pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta, Businessman Matt Lieberman, ex US Attorney Ed Tarver. Two Republicans: Inc Kelly Loeffler, Congressman Doug Collins. Cash on hand: Loeffler $6 Million, Warnock $1.2 Million, Collins $1 Million Polls: May Collins 34, Warnock 18, Lieberman 14, Loeefler 12, April Collins 36, Warnock 16, Loeffler 13, Lieberman 11, Tarver 3. General: Warnock 45-44.
TEXAS Pilot MJ Hegar should win the primary run off and run against the increasingly unpopular Incumbent John Cornyn. March 31 Cash on hand: Cornyn $13 Million, M. J. Hegar $1 Million, Royce West $120,000. Polls: February Cornyn v Hegar 49-41, December, 2019 Cornyn v Hegar 44-30
REPUBLICANS FAR ENOUGH AHEAD TO BE PROBABLES THOUGH MONEY COULD HAVE AN IMPACT
Mississippi Ex Member of Congress and Ex Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy v Incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith. March 31 Cash on hand: Hyde-Smith $1 Million, Espy $400,000. Polls: February Hyde-Smith 53-43
Tennessee Attorney, former military pilot, and Rabbinical Spouse James Mackler for an open Republican seat in Tennessee. March 31 Cash on hand: Hedge Fund Owner Bill Hagerty $5.5 Million or Surgeon Manny Sethi $2 Million v. Mackler $500,000. Polls: February General Election Hagerty v Mackler 55 – 33, Sethi v Mackler 46-35
REPUBLICANS ARE A SURE THING
SOUTH DAKOTA, Businessman Dan Ahlers v Incumbent Mike Rounds. March 31 Cash on hand : Rounds $2Million. Ahlers (who still has to win a primary) $35,000. Not worth looking for polls.
Idaho No outstanding Democrat versus incumbent James Risch. March 31: Rish cash on hand $2 million. No Democrat with as much as $50,000.
Arkansas Independent Dan Whitfield v incumbent Tom Cotton March 31 Cash on hand Cotton $5 Million, Whitfield $5 Thousand. No polls.