State Primary: June 24, 2014
Colorado Gubernatorial Candidates Election Race for US Governor 2014
Election Race for Colorado U.S. Governor:
John Hickenlooper (D)
Colorado Candidates for US Congress Republican and Democrat :
History of Colorado. Information that every Colorado Senator Candidate and candidate for Congress Should Know
With the region's population booming because of the Pike's Peak gold rush, Congress creates the new Territory of Colorado.
When the United States acquired it after the Mexican War ended in 1848, the land that would one day become Colorado was nearly unpopulated by Anglo settlers. Ute, Arapaho, Cheyenne, and other Indians had occupied the land for centuries, but the Europeans who had made sporadic appearances there since the 17th century never stayed for long. It was not until 1851 that the first permanent non-Indian settlement was established, in the San Luis Valley.
As with many other western regions, though, the lure of gold launched the first major Anglo invasion. In July 1858, a band of prospectors working streambeds near modern-day Denver found tiny flecks of gold in their pans. Since the gold-bearing streams were located in the foothills not far from the massive mountain named for the explorer Zebulon Pike, the subsequent influx of hopeful miners was termed the Pike's Peak gold rush. By the spring of 1859, an estimated 50,000 gold seekers had reached this latest of a long series of American El Dorados.
As the first gold-bearing streams to be discovered played out, prospectors moved westward into the rugged slopes of the Rocky Mountains in search of new finds. Wherever sizeable deposits were discovered, ramshackle mining camps like Central City, Nevadaville, and Black Hawk appeared, sometimes almost overnight. Meanwhile, out on the flat plains at the edge of the mountains, Denver became the central supply town for the miners.
Although few miners came to Colorado planning to stay long, they were eager to establish some semblance of "law and order" in the region in order to protect their property rights and gold dust. Far from the seats of eastern government, the miners and townspeople cobbled together their own simple governments, usually revolving around a miners' court that regulated claims. Technically lacking in any genuine legal foundation, the miners' courts did maintain the minimal order needed for the mineral exploitation of the territory to continue.
The unreliable mining operations soon gave way to larger, highly capitalized and relatively permanent lode mining operations. The pioneers recognized that the vast mineral resources of the Rockies could form the foundation of a thriving new state, but the people settling there needed a more formal system of laws and government. The Congressional designation of new western states and territories had been bogged down for several years as southern and northern politicians fought over whether slavery would be permitted in the new western regions. By 1861, the South had seceded, clearing the way for the northern politicians to begin creating free-labor states. On this day in 1861, Congress combined pieces of Nebraska, Kansas, Utah, and New Mexico to make a large rectangle of land it designated Colorado Territory.
Colorado governors race: GOP still searching for 2014 hopeful
Talk-radio host Dan Caplis regularly runs into people who urge him to run for governor next year, but he's not sure the timing is right.
State Sen. Greg Brophy would "absolutely love" to run but worries about giving up a year of income to campaign.
State Treasurer Walker Stapleton says he'd consider running for governor in 2014 - but only if it's an open race.
Yes, the 2012 election and the onslaught of ads that buried Colorado are still painfully fresh for some, but already talk has turned to the governor's race and a reccurring question:
Can the Republican Party field a serious candidate to take on Gov. John Hickenlooper, a popular Democrat who is running for a second term?
"Any good conservative candidate can beat John Hickenlooper. I think the biggest reason he can be beat is he's had the job, and the state's stuck in the mud," Caplis said.
"It's just a matter of doing it the right way. If I was to run a race, it would not be about John Hickenlooper. My focus would be the people of Colorado and how we can do better, how we can move the state forward."
But some Republicans fear any nominee would have a hard time, and compounding their worries is they also have to find a challenger to face U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat running for a second term next year.
Uncertainty in 2014
Dick Wadhams, former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, thinks 2014 might be more unpredictable than Democrats would like to believe.
"It strikes me that 2014 offers a tremendous opportunity for new faces to step forward and seek major statewide office if none of our current congressional or statewide elected officials runs," he said.
Wadhams has long maintained that Hickenlooper is more interested in running for president than re-election, and a recent New York Times column left open the possibility of his sentiment, that there might not be an incumbent running for governor in 2014.
Hickenlooper was quoted as saying that when he and his wife, who separated last July, were discussing the split she told him, "If you want to run for president, I'm in. We'll stay married. I'll figure it out and be fine."Hickenlooper didn't want to "prolong her unhappiness" and had already made up his mind to focus on his re-election, according to the article.
Hickenlooper told The Denver Post he regrets revealing private conversations, but it shouldn't be interpreted to mean there were serious discussions about his running for president.
He said he is running for a second term, which he alluded to during his third State of the State speech on Jan. 11.
"Some of you have noticed that today marks the midpoint in our first term, though we really prefer to look at it as only a quarter of the way through our administration," he said, to laughter.
The governor's proud of his record, saying he has attracted jobs to Colorado, reduced red tape for business and is committed to improving education and controlling health care costs.
Array of candidates
But politics are a funny, fickle thing and every few years a politician running hard for re-election - Sens. Tim Wirth and Ben Nighthorse Campbell, for example - suddenly drops his or her bid, briefly turning Colorado politics upside down, launching political careers or moving them in different directions.
No one knows that better than Hickenlooper, who was serving as Denver's mayor when Democrat Gov. Bill Ritter unexpectedly ended his 2010 re-election campaign.
Hickenlooper jumped in, attracting national attention when he showered fully clothed in an ad where he talked about his dislike of negative campaigning.
And no matter who runs against him in 2014, Hickenlooper said he plans still to wage another positive campaign.
"Given the Republican bench," Democratic political consultant Steve Welchert said, "that might not be a problem."
Jon Caldara, president of the Independence Institute, a conservative think tank in Denver, was even more brutal.
"We have no bench," he said. "We have a folding chair."
But an array of candidates has been suggested, including Brophy, a bicycle- riding, Prius-driving, gun-toting farmer who can match Hickenlooper for quirkiness but not in fundraising prowess.
Hickenlooper, a former restaurant owner and geologist, has links to business and the oil-and-gas industry, and had attracted deep-pocketed Republicans to his campaign.
Other names often mentioned as challengers include Attorney General John Suthers, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, Secretary of State Scott Gessler and 2006 gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez.
"If Gov. Hickenlooper seeks re-election, he has the assurance his lawyer won't run against him," was Suthers' response.
Former state Rep. Victor Mitchell, a Castle Rock entrepreneur, has toyed with running and even paid for polling, which shows Hickenlooper is indeed "very popular."
But Mitchell said the state is in trouble and needs someone who can push tax reform and remedies for business, education and transportation.
As for Caplis, he said the ages of his two children, 15 and 12, are probably the biggest reason he won't run for governor, but added, "I haven't closed the door on it yet."
Hickenlooper has history on his side.
"It's not easy to take incumbents out," said political consultant Katy Atkinson, a Denver Republican. "In Colorado, we tend to like our governors. They usually get re-elected."
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