Regardless of your political leanings, here’s one result from the day’s midterm elections to be proud of. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper ’74, who delivered the Commencement Address last May (photo above), has won the Colorado gubernatorial race, beating out Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo and Republican Dan Maes:
Hickenlooper, the popular mayor of Denver, was widely expected to coast to victory after Tancredo entered the race in July. Tancredo, the former Congressman famous for his vitriolic anti-immigration rhetoric, had demanded that both potential Republican nominees, Dan Maes and former Rep. Scott McInnis, drop out before the primary, as both had been marred by scandal, so that the party could pick a fresh nominee. But both Maes and McInnis refused, and Tancredo jumped in.
Meanwhile, while we’re on the subject of notable Wes alums running for political office in Colorado, the hotly contested Senate race between incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet ’87 and Republican Ken Buck (the most expensive race in the country?) remains still too close to call. CNN reports:
In one of the tightest Senate races in the country, incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet is working down to the wire to get voters to the polls. He spent part of the day in Boulder, where he encouraged college students to vote. He’s ending his day in Denver. Going into Election Day, he said he expected the race could come down to a few hundred votes. Democrats are counting on their grassroots efforts to make the difference for them.
Bennet was chosen for the Senate by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter in 2009, following the appointment of Ken Salazar as Secretary of the Interior in the Obama Administration. Bennet comes from a distinguished Wesleyan family: not only are his brother and grandfather Wes alumni, but his father, Douglas J. Bennet ’59, served as Wesleyan’s 15th president from 1995 to 2007. (He was, of course, succeeded by President Roth three years ago.)
Is there a clear lesson from the day’s midterm elections? Well, yeah—if you want to enter politics after Wes, you should maybe consider moving to Colorado.
Edit, 1:06: An anonymous commenter accurately points out that Colorado may not be the only state that elected a Wesleyan alum governor today: Democrat Peter Shumlin ’79 is holding a very slight lead in the Vermont gubernatorial race, with 72% of precincts reporting. Apologies, Vermonters, for the omission—and a preemptive congratulations to Hickenlooper, Bennet, and Shumlin.