Former Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper will announce whether he's running for president on March 7 in Denver's Civic Center Park, Democrats briefed on his plans tell Colorado Politics.
Democratic sources say the one-time geologist-turned-brew pub operator plans to feature home-grown musicians at an event set to take place between Denver's City & County Building, where Hickenlooper served two terms as mayor, and the Colorado Capitol, where as governor he helped steer the state from the depths of a recession to one of the top economies in the country.
A spokeswoman for Hickenlooper's federal political committee, Giddy Up PAC, told Colorado Politics Friday that the former governor hasn't "officially made a decision yet."
"It certainly has been no secret that has been considering it, included looking at venues, but the honest answer is he has not officially decided yet," said Lauren Hitt, the PAC's communications director.
She added that Hickenlooper is "expected to come to a decision soon."
But Democrats with knowledge of Hickenlooper's plans tell Colorado Politics the former governor has made up his mind and has informed them in recent days that he will launch his presidential campaign.
A permit application filed with Denver Parks & Recreation refers to a "community gathering" of an estimated 2,000 people, "free and open to the public," at Civic Center's Greek Amphitheater from 5 to 8 p.m. March 7.
Marshall Zelinger of 9News tweeted a picture of the application, which was signed by Sarah Feldmann, director of special projects for Hickenlooper's Giddy Up PAC.
If he gets in the primary race, Hickenlooper will join a burgeoning field of Democrats vying for the chance to take on President Donald Trump in next year's election. As of Friday morning, 13 candidates had made their bids official.
At least another dozen are actively considering a run, including Colorado's U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who got his start in Colorado politics on Hickenlooper's mayoral campaign and as Hickenlooper's first chief of staff.
Hickenlooper launched his leadership PAC last fall and has been touring states with early primaries, including New Hampshire and Iowa last weekend, billing himself as a pragmatic problem-solver whose approach could stand out among what could be a historically high number of primary candidates.
If he runs, it'll be an uphill climb. According to recent national polling and surveys conducted in early primary states, Hickenlooper isn't nearly as well known as many of the current and potential candidates.
A New Hampshire poll released Thursday showed Hickenlooper had the support of less than 1 percent of Democratic primary voters, putting him in 14th place, at the very bottom of the list of Democrats included in the survey.