DENVER (KREX/KFQX)- On Election Day, John Hickenlooper became one of the first democrats as results came in across the country to flip a seat from a republican incumbent senator. From an update at about 5:00 p.m. on Nov. 5 from the Associated Press, Hickenlooper’s margin of victory expanded to 1,653,819 votes, picking up 53.3% of the votes cast to incumbent republican, Senator Cory Gardner, who picked up 1,378,997 votes or 44.4% of the vote.
On Election Night, Hickenlooper handily defeated Gardner in an election in Colorado which saw record voter turnout, according to Secretary of State Jena Griswold. Hickenlooper says now it’s time to get to work and represent the interests of all coloradans.
“My job now is to tell voters not just on the Western Slope but across the state that whether you voted for me or not doesn’t make a difference,” Hickenlooper said in an interview with KREX 5/Fox4. “I am 100 percent focused to do the best that I can for all of the people of Colorado.”
Shortly after the race was called Gardner offered a cordial concession speech, and says he will help Hickenlooper as he transitions into his new role as a U.S. Senator.
“I will support him in this transition any way that I can to make sure that it is as smooth as possible, and we will assist him with any questions he might have as he navigates this new role,” Gardner said in his concession speech. “His success is Colorado’s success, and our nation and our state need him to succeed. We need to be united.”
In a campaign shrouded in harsh attacks on both sides, Senator-Elect Hickenlooper welcomed Gardner’s concession in a phone call between the two candidates on Election Night. The campaign was dominated by contentious differing on issues between the candidates: from healthcare, the economy, to COVID-19 response, and the candidates taking shots at each others’ political records.
“His call to me was very gracious,” Hickenlooper said. “And he wants to provide whatever support he can that our success is Colorado’s success. And I wish him all the best sincerely, both for him and his family.”
Hickenlooper has ran on a platform of wanting to change the culture of partisanship in Washington, but with control of the Senate still not yet determined, this could prove difficult.
“We have to persuade moderate republicans that addressing climate change, working for clean air and clean water, making sure that everyone has some level of healthcare coverage, that we have some relief for those still unemployed after COVID-19, these are issues that aren’t republican or democrat.”
The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court was an issue both candidates clashed over . This comes as Barrett and other Supreme Court justices may be faced with election related cases brought before the Supreme Court in terms of presidential race. When asked if Barrett should recuse herself from any election related cases due to her appointment and confirmation being so close to the election, Hickenlooper says it might be in her best interest.
“I’m not a legal scholar, but I think she would benefit in the eyes of history if she recused herself,” Hickenlooper said. “But I’m not going to tell a Supreme Court justice what they should or should not do”