Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hickenlooper wins landslide election as governor

Democratic Denver mayor John Hickenlooper rolled to an easy win in the governor's race Tuesday, beating former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo and GOP businessman Dan Maes in a landslide.

Former Colorado State University-Pueblo president Joe Garcia won election as lieutenant governor on Hickenlooper's ticket.

Hickenlooper, a former geologist and restaurateur, ran a mostly positive campaign that emphasized bipartisanship and a commitment to strengthen the state's economy.

"We will implement a jobs plan that starts with economic development at the grass roots level, empowering local communities by starting with their vision of what works best and building on that vision to make Colorado a national center for innovation in every field from agriculture to energy and technology," he said at an election night celebration.

As Denver's leader, Hickenlooper, 58, was lauded as one of the top five big-city mayors in America by Time magazine. During his tenure he spearheaded efforts to lower the number of homeless people in Denver, reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city, and secure public approval of tax assessments used to fund scientific and cultural facilities.

He was first elected as the Mile High City's chief executive in 2003 and won re-election in 2007.

Garcia, a former director of the state Department of Regulatory Agencies, has been president of CSU-Pueblo since 2006. Before taking that post he was president of Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs for five years.

A graduate of Harvard University's law school and John F. Kennedy School of Government, Garcia practiced law for ten years before embarking on a career in higher education.