Ex-Obama campaign staffer says Hickenlooper should end White House bid, run for Senate

A former campaign staffer on President Obama's 2008 campaign is calling on John HickenlooperJohn Wright HickenlooperThe Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Colorado candidates vying to take on Gardner warn Hickenlooper they won't back down MORE to end his White House bid and instead launch a Senate run in Colorado.

“Most of these people are not going to be top-tier candidates,” Zach Friend, who is now a county supervisor in Santa Cruz, Calif., said during a Hill.TV interview while discussing the crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates.

“They still have an important voice to add to the overall debate but then there’s people beyond the bubble that have absolutely no business of being in — Gov. Hickenlooper happens to be one of those people,” he continued, referring to the former Colorado governor.

“If he’s watching this: Run for Senate in the state of Colorado.”

Friend argued that such a move would “serve a greater purpose for the United States.”

Friend’s remarks come amid reports that Hickenlooper is considering ending his presidential campaign to pursue a Senate bid against Republican Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Colorado candidates vying to take on Gardner warn Hickenlooper they won't back down MORE (Colo.) in 2020.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the former governor reportedly discussed the possibility with fellow Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetThe Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape The Hill's Morning Report — Recession fears climb and markets dive — now what? Hickenlooper expected to end presidential bid on Thursday MORE (D-Colo.) during a campaign event in Iowa.

But Hickenlooper has yet to confirm his plans one way or the other.

Colorado could play a key role in Democratic efforts to retake the Senate, and some polls suggest Hickenlooper could enter the Democratic Senate race as a heavy frontrunner.

A recent poll by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group found that 61 percent of likely Democratic primary voters favor Hickenlooper, compared to 10 percent for former state Sen. Mike Johnston (D) and 8 percent for former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D), The Denver Post reported

Hickenlooper isn’t the only candidate that’s being urged to drop his presidential bid and instead pursue a statewide campaign.

The Houston Chronicle recently called on former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) to end his presidential campaign and pursue another Senate bid. 

O'Rourke lost a Senate race against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape O'Rourke says he will not 'in any scenario' run for Senate MORE (R-Texas) by less than 3 points last year, while Democrats are now looking to field possible candidates to take on Sen. John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy O'Rourke says he will not 'in any scenario' run for Senate MORE (R-Texas) in 2020.

"Drop out of the race for president and come back to Texas to run for senator," the Chronicle's editorial board wrote in a post that was published over the weekend. "The chances of winning the race you’re in now are vanishingly small. And Texas needs you."

—Tess Bonn