2014-08-10T131228Z_2_LYNXMPEA7905N_RTROPTP_2_USA-COLORADO-HICKENLOOPER

Colorado governor fights to stave off GOP election challenge

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper lays out his plans for the next state legislative session at a news conference in his office at the Capitol in DenverBy Daniel Wallis and Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) – When Colorado Democrat John Hickenlooper was elected governor four years ago, the ebullient former Denver mayor and brew-pub magnate could do little wrong. Once spoken of as a possible vice presidential candidate in 2016, the 62-year-old has burnished his man-of-the-people image with impromptu banjo performances and folksy charm. Painting the governor as weak and unprincipled, Republican opponents jumped on an apology he made to the state’s elected sheriffs for approving part of a package of gun control laws following the Aurora and Newtown shootings. “It’s going to be a very close race,” said Floyd Ciruli, an independent Denver pollster and political analyst, adding that he thinks Colorado’s strong economic recovery gives Hickenlooper the edge.

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