Hickenlooper, a Democrat, former mayor of Denver, brewpub owner and geologist, intends to challenge Republican Sen. Cory Gardner for his seat, The New York Times reported.
"I don't think Cory Gardner understands that the games he's playing with Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell are hurting the people of Colorado," Hickenlooper said in a campaign video posted Thursday. "We ought to be working together to move this country forward and stop the political nonsense."
Hickenlooper ended a presidential bid on Aug. 15 and said in a video at the time that he was giving a Senate run "some serious thought." Now, he enters a crowded Senate race with 11 other candidates. A recent poll showed that Hickenlooper had a 50-point lead over other Democrats running for the nomination, the Times reported. Another poll gave Hickenlooper a 13-point lead when going head-to-head against Gardner.
Gardner's seat is considered to be vulnerable, especially after Coloradans voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016, The Hill reported. Defeating Gardner would bring Democrats closer to flipping the Senate.
The news of Hickenlooper's Senate campaign hasn't caused any other candidate to drop out. Former U.S. Ambassador Dan Baer issued a statement on Hickenlooper entering the race.
"There are new voices ready to lead across our state and in the U.S. Senate, voices who understand that there is no back to normal, there’s only forward to normal. That’s why I was running yesterday, and that’s why I’ll be running tomorrow," Baer said in a statement.
State Sen. Angela Williams previously said in a statement that Hickenlooper's bid for Senate may not be an easy one, according to Colorado Public Radio.
“If he’s going to switch gears and run for the senate, he has a lot to explain to Colorado voters,” Williams said in a statement. “This won’t be a coronation.”