March 13 (UPI) -- Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is emphasizing combating climate change and an end to divisive politics in his bid for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential election.
Hickenlooper announced his candidacy March 4 in a video posted to Twitter, in which he said a crisis threatens politics in the nation's capital.
"I'm running for president because we need dreamers in Washington, but we also need to get things done," he said. "I've proven again and again I can bring people together to produce the progressive change Washington has failed to deliver."
Hickenlooper began his political career in 2003, when he was elected mayor of Denver, a role in which he served until 2011. Before that, he worked as a geologist for Buckhorn Petroleum and started a brewing company in Denver.
He resigned his position as mayor when he was elected governor of Colorado in 2011. He was limited to two terms and left the position in 2017.
Hickenlooper married his second wife, Robin Pringle, in 2016, and has a son, Teddy, from his first marriage.
On the issues
As governor, Hickenlooper, 67, expanded Medicaid, signed comprehensive gun-control legislation and established civil unions for same-sex couples before it was legalized by the U.S. Supreme Court.
He initially opposed legalizing marijuana, but oversaw the regulatory process when it was approved by voters.
"We have every right to live in a land that's called the home of hope," he said March 8 at the Civic Center in Denver. "But these days that's not how it feels in American. It feels like we're living in a heaving crisis -- years in the making -- spawned by dysfunctional politics, defined above all by this president."
Hickenlooper said he was running for president to make America whole again following an administration that has worked to divide the public.
"America stops working when we work against each other," he said. "Our country stops making progress when we hunker down on the opposite side of the continental divide -- red versus blue; rich and poor; urban and rural. It's time to end this American crisis of division. It's time to bring all Americans together. And that is why I'm running for president of the United States."
He said as president he would make healthcare a right for all, recommit the United States to climate change goals set out in the Paris Agreement, create a green economy, make universal broadband Internet a national policy and bring back the innovation and motivation "we used to land on the moon to save our planet."