How John Hickenlooper defied the odds in 2003, and how he might do it again in 2020
“You can be a totally unknown candidate in an early stage of the race and go on to win the election,” said Tony Robinson, chair of the political science department of the University of Colorado Denver. Robinson, a Denver City Council candidate in 2003, witnessed firsthand how Hickenlooper pulled it off. “Ari Zavaras and Don Mares, those were clearly the two titans in the mayoral race. And Hickenlooper came out of nowhere and had a strategy to win the election.”
The keys to Hickenlooper’s success then were threefold, according to a review of news reports at the time and interviews with key players: Authenticity, an artistic and positive campaign that captured the imaginations of voters, and a focus on solving problems that mattered to voters.
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