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The Mountain West News Bureau is a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Two Mountain West Governors May Take On Trump In 2020

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

The Mountain West is a pretty conservative place. So when Democrats win here… it’s big news. And now two Democratic governors from the region are mulling a run for president.

Colorado’s John Hickenlooper and Montana’s Steve Bullock are both moderate progressives, both won in fairly conservative places, and both are kind of wonky.

“They’re not that person who can command a crowd,” Lee Banville, a political journalism professor at the University of Montana, says.

According to Banville, the men aren’t as charismatic as other governors who later became president, like George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. They also don’t have the big name recognition of Barack Obama or Donald Trump.

Instead, Banville says they are both somewhat boring but effective leaders.

“Is that what we want running the country? Maybe that’s what we should have, but often times what we want is that person who we’re just mesmerized by,” Banville says.

Both Hickenlooper and Bullock haven’t officially declared they are running for president.

But Hickenlooper has created a political action committee to help pay for campaigning and travel, while Bullock has given stump speeches in Iowa and New Hampshire.  

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

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