Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper characterized his conviction on ethics violations as Republican “smear attacks” during a primary debate Tuesday night.
Hickenlooper was found guilty by the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission last Friday of twice accepting free luxury travel from business interests while he was governor. The five-member panel also voted unanimously to hold him in contempt for initially defying a subpoena to appear at the hearing.
“These allegations were waged by a dark-money Republican group and they’re going to lay attacks and millions of dollars of smear ads against whoever the Democratic candidate is,” said Hickenlooper said in response to a call from his opponent, former Democratic Colorado House speaker Andrew Romanoff, that he drop out of the race.
The allegations against Hickenlooper were first submitted to the nonpartisan commission in 2018 by the Public Trust Institute, a watchdog group founded by former Republican Colorado House speaker Frank McNulty.
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