Election 2020 Hickenlooper Biden

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, left, a current U.S. Senate candidate and a former presidential candidate, on Friday, May 15, 2020, endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Hickenlooper made his presidential endorsement official Friday when the former Colorado governor announced his support for presumptive nominee Joe Biden.

Hickenlooper, who vied with Biden for a share of the moderate vote in the early stages of the Democratic presidential primary, tweeted a link to Biden's plan to help small businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our small businesses, workers, and families are hurting," Hickenlooper said. "Joe Biden is the leader we need to fight for them, and that's why I'm supporting his campaign.”

The endorsement came as no surprise, as nearly all of Biden's former primary rivals have backed the former vice president since he effectively sealed the nomination in March.

Biden came in second behind Bernie Sanders in Colorado's March 3 presidential primary, one of only four primaries won by the Vermont senator on Super Tuesday, when Biden won 10 contests and took the lead in delegates.

Hickenlooper is running in a June 30 primary against former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff for the chance to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.

Gardner endorsed President Donald Trump's reelection bid more than a year ago, and the president has returned the favor, telling the crowd at a February rally in Colorado Springs that Gardner has his "complete and total support and endorsement."

Romanoff has yet to make an endorsement in the presidential race, a spokeswoman said.

Among likely Colorado voters, Hickenlooper and Biden hold nearly identical leads over the Republicans they're hoping to run against, according to polling released last week from Colorado-based Democratic firms.

The Keating-Onsight-Melanson poll found Hickenlooper running 18 percentage points ahead of Gardner, 54% to 36%, and Biden leading Trump by 19 percentage points, 55% to 36%.

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