Gov. Hickenlooper taking second term oath at Colorado Capitol

Photo: Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper gives victory speech (AP Photo)
Newly re-elected Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper smiles to applauding supporters as he arrives to deliver his victory speech, at the Capitol, in Denver, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. Hickenlooper won a second term in office, narrowly defeating Republican challenger Bob Beauprez.

Gov. John Hickenlooper is taking his second oath of office today on the west steps of the state Capitol in Denver.

While the 11 a.m. event is free and open to the public, with gates to scheduled to open at 9:30 a.m., there will be a limited number of spots.

Hickenlooper fended off a challenge from Republican Bob Beauprez in November by focusing his campaign on promoting Colorado's economic gains. Unemployment was just over 9 percent when Hickenlooper took office and it is now at 4.1 percent.

The governor’s inauguration speech is likely to tout those economic accomplishments and offer glimpses of his agenda for the next four years. Hickenlooper is scheduled to deliver his annual State of the State address to lawmakers Thursday where he will give a more comprehensive view of what he wants to happen in the coming year.

Here are five things to know about Colorado's inaugural ceremonies and celebrations Tuesday:

Governor’s agenda

After Hickenlooper takes the oath, he'll make his second inaugural address. Four years ago, he focused his remarks on promises to help the economy. Expect the governor to take a victory lap on this point — Colorado's unemployment rate is 4.1 percent, down 5 points from when Hickenlooper took office. Also expect the governor to make some new pledges about the economy. He's expected to talk about help for the long-term unemployed and other efforts to boost hiring.

Flashback to first speech

Hickenlooper, in his 2011 inaugural address, said: "Our first task, our highest priority, is jobs. We will help businesses protect and expand the jobs we have, we will attract new jobs, and we will harness the entrepreneurial spirit that has always defined Colorado through her history."

Two reporters covering the Legislature, the Denver Business Journal's Ed Sealover and the Associated Press' Ivan Moreno, tell Colorado Matters that some of Hickenlooper's promises last year are still works in progress.

Others take oaths, too

Hickenlooper and Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia aren't the only ones being inaugurated Tuesday. Other statewide officeholders will also take oaths, including Treasurer Walker Stapleton and Attorney General Cynthia Coffman for their second terms, and first-term Secretary of State Wayne Williams.

It’ll be cold

It's an outdoor ceremony in Colorado in January — ceremony trumps comfort. But it won't be as cold as last time. Temperatures should be in the 30s, with a 20 percent chance of snow showers. That's chilly, but a vast improvement from the 2011 ceremony, where the temperature didn't get above 10 degrees.

After the speeches

Hickenlooper isn't having a formal inaugural ball. Instead, he's having a $100-a-plate dinner Tuesday evening at the Fillmore Auditorium, slated to start at 5 p.m. The menu includes beef short ribs braised with beer, an obvious choice for a governor who once owned a brewpub. Rounding out the menu is lasagna, elk sausage and brussels sprouts, with four choices for dessert, including apple pie.

Later there will be an inaugural concert at the Ogden Theatre featuring The Lumineers, String Cheese Incident, Big Head Todd and the Monsters and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.

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