Speaking exclusively to the Colorado Independent before an Election Day campaign rally on the Auraria campus in Denver, Gov. John Hickenlooper lamented the state of modern-day politics.
“This was the dirtiest campaign I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said of the battle between him and Republican challenger Bob Beauprez, a former member of Congress. “It seems to be the way of politics today.”
Asked if he felt confident in the outcome of the race, he said: “In the modern political world, how can you feel too confident? I’m modestly optimistic. I do feel we gave it everything we had.”
Hickenlooper, a popular brewpub owner-turned-politician, faced a surprisingly difficult re-election race against a challenger who lost a previous try for the governor’s mansion by double-digit percentage points.
He said that despite the negative ads from his opponent — including one citing the murder of the governor’s corrections chief and close friend Tom Clements and questioning whether Coloradans are safe — he has enjoyed the aspects of campaigning that include meeting everyday Coloradans.
“It’s been one of the best experiences of my life,” Hickenlooper said.