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Colorado represented at Democratic convention in Philadelphia

Centennial State in the spotlight for Hillary Clinton’s historic moment

DENVER – Colorado was well represented Thursday for the historic moment when Hillary Clinton become the first woman to win a major party’s nomination for president.

Gov. John Hickenlooper told the nation of his career successes and woes at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, stating the case for Clinton.

He spoke for five minutes in a prime-time slot on the coveted stage, about two hours before Clinton would accept the nomination in an emotional moment for many observers.

House Democratic Leader Crisanta Duran of Denver also spoke at the convention, drawing upon her personal experiences in backing Clinton.

And at a campaign event in Denver, about 250 Clinton supporters watched in awe as their political hero “broke the glass ceiling.” The Denver event was one of four national watch parties hosted by the Clinton campaign. Live footage of the event was streamed at the DNC.

“Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!” they shouted, as Clinton embraced her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, who introduced her mother.

A hush took over the crowd as their candidate began speaking, with all eyes on a television at the front of the room. They cheered loudly and applauded during key moments.

“We grew up not having as many female role models and to have a woman having the biggest office in the country would mean a lot for all women and men,” said Nellie Ruedig, a Clinton supporter who attended the watch party.

For Hickenlooper, a Clinton presidency represents stability.

“Thirty years ago, almost to the day, I lost my job,” the governor said during his remarks at the convention, reciting a story he tells often in Colorado. “Whether it’s being laid off, downsized, or fired, it’s not funny, and it’s not a reality show punchline when it happens to you.”

After being laid off as a geologist in the late-1980s, Hickenlooper started Denver’s first craft brewery, Wynkoop Brewing, which launched his successful business career.

“That’s right,” he said to a cheering crowd. “I’m the business guy. But unlike Trump’s businesses, my business didn’t go bankrupt six times.

“I’ve spent some time with Hillary, and I can tell you – from a small-business perspective – she gets it.”

Hickenlooper made the short list for vice presidential candidates to join Clinton’s ticket, though that never came to fruition. He is still mentioned for a possible cabinet position, though the governor said yesterday that it would be unlikely.

Duran – considered a rising star in the party – highlighted her diverse background as a sixth-generation Coloradan with Latino roots.

“Growing up, my family wasn’t rich. In fact my parents relied on food stamps for a time to get by,” Duran said. “But in America we don’t define our value by our net worth. My parents gave me the name Crisanta believing that in an inclusive America it would not be a wall to my success.”

“We stand before you because she wants what we want,” Colorado Senate Democratic Leader Lucia Guzman of Denver added during the live feed from Denver that was streamed at the convention. “Because she wants what we want, we know she will stand for justice, peace and equality.”

pmarcus@durangoherald.com

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