Hickenlooper's moderate image erodes

After the botched gun law debacle, the Nathan Dunlap screw-up, the failure of Hickenlooper's tax increase and the 2013 recalls, you think the guy would have learned his lesson...

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SOURCE: Lynn Bartels, The Denver Post

Four years ago, Democrat John Hickenlooper was the affable and engaging mayor of Denver, someone so widely popular that the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party was deeply worried.

Dick Wadhams warned fellow Republicans at a breakfast that their only chance to beat Hickenlooper in the governor's race was to stick to the issues, a blogger reported. If it came down to personality, Hickenlooper would win.

"If we allow him to run as the quirky mayor of Denver, he is dangerous," Wadhams predicted.

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But as Hickenlooper runs for a second term as governor, with a four-year record marked by controversies, his asset could be his greatest liability, some Republicans believe.

"He's not going to be able to smile and joke his way through this one," Wadhams said. "He's got a real record he has to talk about, or the voters are going to see right through him."

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