But of the candidates from states with Republican senators up for reelection in 2020, perhaps none was more opposed to a Senate run than former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper.
“I’m not cut out to be a senator,” Hickenlooper said in February, two weeks before announcing his presidential bid.
“It’s awful hard to imagine that I could be successful in a Senate campaign or as a senator,” Hickenlooper said in May.
“If the Senate’s so good, how come all those senators are trying to get out?” he said in June.
You can watch more of Hickenlooper’s comments on the Senate in the video above.
That Hickenlooper is now running for Senate after less than six months as a presidential candidate is not altogether surprising. He never once topped 2 percent in a major national poll, and Colorado’s is one of three Republican-held Senate seats up for election in 2020 that the Cook Political Report rates as a “toss-up.” And for any potential Democratic president to pass their legislative agenda, they will probably need a Democratic-controlled Senate.
There’s also a long history of politicians running for an office they previously swore off.
In January 2006, then-senator Barack Obama said he would not run for president. One year later, he announced his candidacy.
At least two Democratic presidential candidates remain opposed to a Senate bid: Earlier this month, former congressman Beto O’Rourke said a Senate run “would not be good enough,” and earlier this week, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said he would absolutely not run for Senate.
Just five days before Hickenlooper dropped out of the Democratic presidential race, he was asked again about a possible Senate run on CNN.
“I am 100 percent focused on my presidential run at this point,” he said on Aug. 10. ” … I don’t rule anything out, but I don’t — right now I’m not even thinking about it. I mean, literally, not thinking about it.”
Twelve days later, Hickenlooper announced that he was running for Senate.
Scott Clement contributed to this report.