Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Democrat John Hickenlooper on Thursday shut down his campaign for the presidency next year -- potentially to enter a Senate race in his native Colorado.
The former Colorado governor made the withdrawal announcement in a video posted on his campaign website.
"I'm announcing I'm no longer running for president," he said. "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's bid failed to generate serious traction in a crowded Democratic field. He also struggled to meet more exclusive requirements set by the Democratic Party to qualify for the next round of primary debates in Houston next month.
Democratic national leaders have urged Hickenlooper in recent weeks to close his campaign and challenge Republican incumbent Cory Gardner for one of the state's two U.S. Senate seats. Republicans presently hold a 52-45 majority in the upper chamber.
If he joins the Senate race, Hickenlooper would be considered a favorable challenger to Gardner's seat. Hickenlooper said in his video Thursday he hasn't decided yet whether he'll challenge Gardner.
"Hickenlooper is personally popular among likely Democratic primary voters, with 77 percent of them saying they would have a favorable reaction if he decided to enter the Senate race," pollster Geoff Garin said this week.
Hickenlooper was governor of Colorado between 2011 and January.