Senator Hickenlooper? It’s happened before

Daniel J. Chacon
Rocky Mountain News
Former Sen. Bourke Blakemore Hickenlooper (1896-1971)

Denver’s mayor may have an unusual last name, but he wouldn’t be the first Hickenlooper to serve in the U.S. Senate if Gov. Bill Ritter were to appoint him as Colorado’s next U.S. senator.

At least one other Hickenlooper ” Bourke B. Hickenlooper of Iowa ” has served in the Senate.

“I would bet you dollars to donuts that you go back and do some tying together that (Mayor John Hickenlooper is) related to that Bourke,” said Alan J. Wentworth, an Iowa native who has lived in Englewood since 1963.

Wentworth is right.

The mayor and Bourke Hickenlooper were cousins, according to the mayor’s office.

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But there is one clear difference between the two men.

Bourke Hickenlooper, who was a senator from 1945 to 1969, was a Republican.

Denver’s mayor is an ardent Democrat.

The mayor is among an ever-growing crowd of candidates that Ritter is considering to fill the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, who was chosen by President-elect Barack Obama for interior secretary.

Wentworth said the mayor would be a great replacement.

“I think he’s the best candidate they’ve got,” he said. “I’m normally Republican, but I go mainly for the man, and he’s done a helluva job. Everybody is going to have a few people that aren’t satisfied, but you can’t satisfy everybody.”

Bourke Hickenlooper, who also served as Iowa’s governor and lieutenant governor, died in 1971, according to the biographical directory of the U.S. Congress.

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