If you ask Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to describe the past 4 years, he’ll say it’s been a success – a bravely fought war against an economic recession, numerous natural disasters and other events that poised to cripple the state.

He’s running for re-election because he wants to continue that success, he said.

“We should all be proud of the progress we have made together, but we won’t rest until Colorado is No. 1 in job creation and it is felt in every corner of the state,” he said.

The governor, a Democrat, is in a hotly contested race against Republican challenger Bob Beauprez and five other candidates.

He points to his “proven track record” of rehabilitating Colorado’s economy as the No. 1 reason why voters should chose him over Beauprez.

Since taking office, the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.1 percent from 9 percent when he entered the governor’s office.

However, the number of Coloradans not participating in the labor force continues to be a problem. In August, 3,700 people stopped participating in the labor force, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Part of the governor’s prescription for continued economic improvement includes cutting what he calls “red tape” that stifles innovation and business – a policy most of his opponents in the race, including Beauprez, have said they also would do.

If Colorado sees a tax surplus, Hickenlooper said he would return the money to taxpayers.

It’s uncertain though if he will remain in office to see that promise through. Nearly every poll shows the race is too close to call.

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