A Quaker Gov Throws His Hat into the Presidential Ring

The Story:

John Hickenlooper (D), the Governor of Colorado from 2011 until this January, announced Monday that he is running for his party’s nomination for President of the United States: he plans a campaign kick-off rally for Thursday.


Hickenlooper’s religious background (Society of Friends / Quaker) is unusual in national political circles. That Quaker background may be behind his opposition to the death penalty. In May 2013 he granted an indefinite stay of execution to Nathan Dunlap, who had murdered four employees at a restaurant twenty years before. The stay was very controversial, and the victims’ families had asked that the execution proceed as planned.

It is a safe bet that, if Hickenlooper’s presidential campaign breaks out from the pack and becomes important enough to warrant vigorous opposition, that opposition will invoke the Dunlap matter.

The Thing to Know:

The death penalty issue notwithstanding, Hickenlooper’s over-all reputation is center-left. He is more affiliated with the Clinton than with the Sanders wing of the party. Indeed, there are reports that Secretary Clinton had Hickenlooper on her list of possible running mates in 2016.

Meanwhile, Dunlap remains on death row and his fate is in the hands of the new Governor, Jared Polis.

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