Hickenlooper adding staff ahead of possible 2020 bid

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) is staffing up ahead of his possible 2020 presidential bid, with his campaign manager conducting dozens of interviews with potential aides since September, a source close to Hickenlooper told The Associated Press

Hickenlooper's team has hired a Democratic strategist, Anna Greenberg, to be his pollster and FK & Co as his national fundraiser, according to the AP source.

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The Colorado governor has himself conducted or participated in around 30 interviews, it added.

Hickenlooper has been hinting at a presidential run for months, saying this week that he is "beyond mulling" a White House bid.   

“I think we’re engaging people I’ve known and trusted and [who] understand some of the subtleties around running for the highest office,” he told the AP. 

At a New Hampshire campaign stop at the end of October, he said, "I'm the governor of Colorado and I'm gonna run for president." He quickly added that he hasn't "made a final decision." 

"If I say I'm absolutely doing it then there are all kinds of legal ramifications," he said.

Hickenlooper is term-limited as governor of Colorado and will be stepping down at the end of this year. He is not expected to announce his formal decision on a presidential bid until he leaves office on Jan. 8.

The Democratic primary field is likely to be crowded, as dozens of Democrats have already hinted at possible campaigns. Some former contenders have dropped out of the running in recent days, including celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D).