Democratic gubernatorial candidate John HIckenlooper spoke to an audience of about 60 people Saturday at the Yampa River Botanic Park in Steamboat Springs.

Bette Carlson

Democratic gubernatorial candidate John HIckenlooper spoke to an audience of about 60 people Saturday at the Yampa River Botanic Park in Steamboat Springs.

Hickenlooper speaks from business perspective in Steamboat

Local Democrats praise focus on business

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■ Learn more about Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper here.

■ Learn more about Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis here.

■ Learn more about Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes here.

— Gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper spoke to about 60 people at the Yampa River Botanic Park in Steamboat Springs on Saturday, leaving a favorable impression on at least a couple of them.

Lynn Abbott, of the Routt County Democrats, said Hick­enlooper often spoke about issues from an entrepreneurial and business perspective. Hickenlooper opened The Wynkoop Brewing Co. in Denver in 1988 and was elected mayor of the city in 2003. He still holds the office.

“He’s coming at it from a business point of view,” Abbott said. “One of the things that struck my husband is when (Hickenlooper) went into office as mayor in Denver, and he intends to do the same as governor, his appointees for the various positions close to him would not be political … payback.”

Rather, Hickenlooper said he would bring on people who had expertise in the area of government in which they’d work, Abbott said.

She also said she was impressed by the candidate’s history of cooperating with the city of Aurora and his desire to promote cooperation among Colorado’s municipalities. Hick­enlooper also played up the importance of Western Slope amenities to the state as a whole, Abbott said.

“His quote that I do remember well enough to quote to you was, ‘I tell people that if they lived in Kansas instead of in the plains of Colorado, their property would be worth 30 percent less, that our area is as desirable as it is because of our Rocky Mountains, that our Rocky Mountains do not owe us water in Denver — we’re all in this together, and we all need to figure this out together,’” she said.

Catherine Carson, also of the Routt County Democrats, said she was pleased to hear about Hickenlooper’s efforts to promote water conservation in Denver. He also referenced local businesses such as SmartWool, Big Agnes and Honey Stinger in discussions about how to boost the economy in Colorado, Carson said.

“He always has that business theme, and he is such a smart businessman, that I think bringing those business principles to the state of Colorado like he did to Denver will bring the state to a whole new level economically,” she said.

Hickenlooper will face the winner of the Republican primary in November. Dan Maes is facing Scott McInnis in the GOP race in August.

— To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234 or e-mail bterrell@steamboatpilot.com

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