Colorado governor's race: John Hickenlooper declares victory, plans 2nd term

DENVER - Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is promising to work with the new legislature and make more improvements in the state during his second term.

A visibly tired Hickenlooper claimed victory in the close governor's race around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, about 14 hours after the polls closed.

"The voters of Colorado have spoken," Hickenlooper said at the state Capitol. "We are incredibly grateful that we have earned a second term as Colorado’s governor."

As supporters chanted "four more years," Hickenlooper thanked a variety of supporters and Coloradans.

"Thank you Colorado, we owe it all to you," Hickenlooper said. "We’ve accomplished great things because we’ve worked together. It’s how we moved from 40th to 4th in job creation. It's how we also managed to bring our unemployment rate from 9.1 percent down to 4.7 percent."

Despite those improvements, Hickenlooper said now is not the time to sit back and relax, but move forward.

Hickenlooper said he doesn't want to "dwell on the wedge issues that too often divide us," but wants the state to come together to "seize this momentum that we have, to make sure every single community in Colorado is able to tap into the state’s economic vitality."

"We look forward to collaborating with the legislature," Hickenlooper said. "No one person, no one party has all the answers. We want to make sure we are focused on hearing each other as clearly as possible. We believe that by making that effort, and working hard to not just listen, but to hear what each other is saying, we can create a new model for this country of how democracy can work."

Hickenlooper said Republican Senator-elect Cory Gardner called him Wednesday morning.

"His first words were, 'We're going to be able to work together very, very well,'" Hickenlooper said. "And that is certainly true."

Hickenlooper said his goals include "that we become the No. 1 state for education reform and achievement among our kids. That we go from being fourth in job creation to being first."

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