Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Letter from Colorado Gov. Elect John Hickenlooper

I am humbled and honored by the decision Colorado's voters have made -- and I accept the challenge you have entrusted to me to lead our state as governor.

This is not the end of our journey. This is the beginning. And it starts with bringing people together.

To Dan Maes and Tom Tancredo -- I have learned how much you love Colorado and I admire the tenacity of your supporters.

Starting tonight, we set aside our differences and work together to rebuild hope in our state and get our economy back on track. That's what our friends and neighbors want.

That's what Colorado needs.

To my supporters, I want to thank all of you who have knocked on doors, who have made phone calls and who have been part of our campaign.

I especially appreciate your commitment to keeping this a clean campaign. You have made history tonight by showing you can win with a message of what you are for, not who you're against.

I had to take a few showers with my clothes on -- but I'm proud to say that we won the support of Colorado voters without running a single attack ad.

I want to acknowledge and thank Governor Bill Ritter. He leaves a legacy for which we should all be grateful.

I want to thank my partner in this race, my running mate, Joe Garcia, who will be a great lieutenant governor.

And I want to thank my wife Helen and our son Teddy for their support and encouragement.

We began this journey back in January. For 10 months we traveled Colorado, from one state line to the next. Spending this time with the people of Colorado has been a tremendous inspiration.

What stands out for me is the pioneer spirit -- a certain Western pride -- that you find in every community and every corner of Colorado.

It's a "can-do" way of life. Perseverance. Faith. Optimism.

In the midst of hard times -- the toughest we have seen in our country since the Great Depression – Coloradans still look up.

I'm thinking of the dairyman in Logan County -- of the toy makers in Fort Collins -- of the farmers and small business owners I met all over Colorado.

And I'm thinking of young entrepreneurs like the ones in Steamboat Springs who took their Colorado outdoor gear called Smart Wool and figured out how to market it to the world.

I heard stories from Coloradans of all walks of life, reflecting the rich diversity of our state, They have one thing in common: They care about moving Colorado forward and getting our economy back on track, educating our kids and solving the big problems we face in ways that bring people together.

Because the problems we face are too big for partisan politics.

Too many in Colorado are out of work or at risk of losing their job, and struggling to care for their families.

So tonight, the political campaign is over and the business of putting Colorado back to work begins.

We will implement a jobs plan that starts with economic development at the grass roots level, empowering local communities by starting with their vision of what works best and building on that vision to make Colorado a national center for innovation in every field from agriculture to energy and technology.

We want every talented person who wants to open a business to think: "Colorado -- that's where the innovative talent is. That's where I want to live. That's where I want to grow my business."

Now, I know from running restaurants that sometimes the best thing government can do for business is get out of the way.

Let's cut the red tape and make government more efficient. We have no choice but to do more, and perform better with less.

We can make Colorado a place that is pro-business, but still maintain the highest standards to protect the health of our citizens and preserve the land and water, and the quality of life that makes Colorado special.

We can tackle the challenge of keeping our schools funded, including higher education, because the path to success goes through a classroom door. And we can ensure a safety net is in place for those most in need.

We will work with the new Legislature in a collaborative way, to balance the state's budget, keeping our priorities straight and focused on economic recovery.

In spite of the hard times we face, I can honestly say that in all 64 counties of this great state I met people who have what it takes to get us back on track.

They share in the belief that Colorado is still the best place in the world to live and work. The global recession didn't start here, but we mean to end it here.

But it's going to take all of us. It's going to take Democrats, Republicans, and everyone in between. It's going to take people from the Eastern plains, Northern Colorado, the Western Slope, the San Luis Valley, and the Four Corners. It's going to take ranchers, farmers, artists, teachers, developers, seniors, environmentalists, and entrepreneurs.

It's time to set aside those labels. Everyone is needed at this table.

We are one Colorado, and our future begins right now.

Thank you,
John Hickenlooper