UPDATE: Hickenlooper Colorado Governor-Elect

By: KKTV/Associated Press
By: KKTV/Associated Press
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Democrat John Hickenlooper is Colorado's new governor elect, after a campaign in which the GOP nominee imploded and a third-party candidate made a late surge.

With the 87 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, Hickenlooper has won with 50 percent of the vote.

American Constitution Candidate Tom Tancredo received 37 percent of the vote, while Republican Dan Maes received 11 percent.

Hickenlooper told a crowd of supporters that he thought his clean campaign strategy worked. He may have also benefited from the collapse of GOP nominee Dan Maes. Immigration hard-liner Tom Tancredo got in the race as a third-party candidate and couldn't overcome Hickenlooper's widespread popularity.

Maes won the Republican primary but suffered a series of campaign gaffes, including questions about his murky law enforcement history and his views on U.N. global warming conspiracies involving bicycles in Denver.

Hickenlooper refused to run attack ads against his opponents, saying Colorado's economic problems are much more serious than individual concerns.

His running mate is Joe Garcia, the president of CSU Pueblo.

Garcia said he's not an experienced politician, but he is ready for the challenge of serving with Hickenlooper. He said his experience in education will make him an asset to the governor's administration.

He replaces Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter, who decided in not to run for re-election.

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