03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Hickenlooper: "I Want To Be The Next Governor Of Colorado"

"My Name is John Hickenlooper and I want to be the next Governor of Colorado." With that sentence, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper became the likely Democratic candidate for Governor of Colorado. In an address in front of the Colorado Capitol Building in Denver the Mayor laid out his narrative, focusing on his record as a job creator as mayor and as an entrepreneur.

Hickenlooper will likely square off against former Republican Congressman Scott McInnis, who told 9 News on Tuesday: "He [Hickenlooper] is going to run as a Democrat and the platform the Democrats have has taken this state, frankly, in the wrong direction. I want to fix it. I think we need to take a different direction."

A recent Rasmussen poll had Hickenlooper trailing McInnis 45%-42%.

Reports have indicated that the mayor, who became the front-runner to replace Democratic Governor Bill Ritter late last week after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar declined to run, made the decision to run on Sunday. He has since been negotiating with Democratic Party players, including Senate Candidate Andrew Romanoff, who has expressed interest in switching to run for governor.

According to 7 News, Hickenlooper and Romanoff met on Monday. According to earlier reports, Hickenlooper timed his announcement to preempt Romanoff's potential entry into the race. Hickenlooper has assured that he had not cut any deal with Romanoff.

Romanoff has not commented on the Hickenlooper, but said as recently as last weekend that he had no intentions to run for Governor.

Watch Hickenlooper's speech, courtesy of KDVR, and Scott McInnis's Response (below) courtesy of 9 News: