John Hickenlooper ends 2020 presidential run

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced his exit Thursday from the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

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"While this campaign didn't have the outcome we were hoping for, every moment has been worthwhile & I'm thankful to everyone who supported this campaign and our entire team," Hickenlooper wrote in a Twitter post announcing his decision to leave the race.

Hickenlooper joined the race for the White House in March 2019, but his campaign struggled to gain traction. He raised less money than most of the 23 other Democrats running for the nomination, and he was unlikely to make the cutoff to qualify for the Democratic debates scheduled for September, The New York Times reported.

An unidentified Democrat on Wednesday night told The Associated Press that Hickenlooper, who campaigned as a moderate against extreme partisanship, planned to end his presidential bid.

Hickenlooper appeared last weekend in Iowa, but the Wall Street Journal reported he returned afterward to Denver to discuss his future plans with family members and advisers. The newspaper reported he had been expected to hold additional campaign events next week in Iowa.

Since at least early this month, Hickenlooper has been discussing a possible run for the U.S. Senate, the Times reported.

Hickenlooper said earlier this year that he was "not cut out to be a senator," according to the Journal, though Colorado Democrats have repeatedly pushed for him to run for the U.S. Senate currently held by Republican Sen. Cory Gardner. Hickenlooper's communications director, Peter Cunningham, told CNN last week that Hickenlooper "hasn't closed the door to anything."

He was not expected to announce Thursday whether he would indeed run to flip Gardner's seat, according to the AP. If he does decide to run, he'll face another crowded Democratic primary field. The AP reported several Colorado Democrats have launched bids to unseat Gardner, who is up for reelection in 2020.

Thursday's announcement made Hickenlooper the second Democrat to drop a bid for the presidential nomination. In July, U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, of California announced he was leaving the race.

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