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Jan 13, 2010 9:40 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Hickenlooper announces he is running for governor

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper announced his candidacy for governor Tuesday afternoon. Saying it is a privilege to live in Colorado, Hickenlooper says he understands the difficulties facing Colorado in the midst of a recession, but says he's up to the challenge.

During his announcement speech, Hickenlooper recalled his introduction to Colorado 30 years ago, and the revitalization of downtown Denver.

Hickenlooper had mulled a run since Gov. Bill Ritter, a fellow Democrat, announced last week he won't seek re-election. Hickenlooper made it known just after that he was considering a run. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said last week he would not seek the governorship.

President Barack Obama phoned Hickenlooper over the weekend to urge him to run.

Gov. Ritter is endorsing Hickenlooper's candidacy. Ritter praised Hickenlooper's work on the 2008 Democratic National Convention and his support for renewable energy.

Among Republicans seeking the GOP nomination is former Rep. Scott McInnis.

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