Twenty candidates will participate in the first Democratic primary debates on Wednesday and Thursday. But outside the top contenders, most candidates are complete mysteries. BTRtoday takes a brief look at the Unknown Dems of the 2020 primary.
John Hickenlooper, 67, former governor of Colorado
Hickenlooper is a centrist Democrat that was weirdly empowered by Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016. He considers himself a uniter, hailing from the same “purple” state as Michael Bennet. But others would argue he’s basically a Republican with a D next to his name. Back in August 2017, Republican John Kasich considered Hickenlooper as a vice presidential possibility for his absurd unity ticket idea.
As governor, Hickenlooper oversaw Colorado’s marijuana legalization, but called the ballot initiative “reckless.” He’s since undergone a “gradual, if somewhat reluctant, evolution on the issue.” Hickenlooper also faced ethics complaints regarding global flights. The complaints were nakedly partisan but did little to quell anyone’s suspicions about Hickenlooper’s establishment credentials given his was traveling to the Bilderberg Meetings. He’s not particularly unique policy-wise, but has made gun control central to his early campaign after leading efforts for tighter restrictions following the 2012 mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado.