John Hickenlooper, one of the many Democrats running for president, drops out of the race

John Hickenlooper at the 2019 Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame celebration in Cedar Rapids, June 9, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

John Hickenlooper announced on Thursday he is dropping out of the race for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

“I ran for president, because this country is being ripped apart by politics and partisan games, while our biggest problems go unsolved,” Hickenlooper, the former mayor and former governor of Colorado, said in a video posted on social media. “Today, I’m ending my campaign for president, but I will never stop believing that America can only move forward when we work together.”

Hickenlooper’s decision to quit will have no discernable impact on the 2020 presidential race.

The Coloradoan received an asterisk in the most recent Iowa Poll, indicating support of less than one percent. An advocate of making small, incremental adjustments to the political system, instead of systemic changes, he showed no sign of being able to distinguish himself from the other candidates at the bottom of the polls.

The most widely-known moment of Hickenlooper’s campaign came in June, when he was loudly booed by an audience at the California Democratic Party Convention.

The booing started when Hickenlooper said, “If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer.” As the booing continued, he added, “You know, if we’re not careful, we’re going to end up helping to reelect the worst president in American history.”

Convention delegates told the Washington Post they felt Hickenlooper was engaged in “red-baiting” in an attempt to get headlines.

Hickenlooper couldn’t even lay sole claim to the dubious distinction of being booed at the convention. John Delaney, another advocate of incremental change with little name recognition and dismal poll numbers, took a similar approach in his convention speech and the Californians booed him too.

At the end of his video announcement, Hickenlooper said he’s considering a run for Senate.

“I’ve heard from so many Coloradans that want me to run for the United States Senate,” he said. “They remind me how much is at stake for our country, and our state. I intend to give that some serious thought.”

He wouldn’t be the first Hickenlooper to serve in the Senate after being a governor. Although he seldom mentioned it during his six-month-long campaign, Hickenlooper is a cousin of the late Bourke B. Hickenlooper, a Cedar Rapids Republican who was governor of Iowa (1943-1945) before representing the state in the U.S. Senate (1945-1969).

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »


Iowa City Book Festival

Oct. 18-24

A celebration of books, writing and ideas

Find Out More


Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.