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Governor: John Hickenlooper
Served since: 2010
State population: 5,540,545
The Colorado governor knows the value of a dollar. He says he approaches state budgeting with the frugal lessons learned from his mother, who lost her husband when John was young. She made all of her own clothes, and washed and reused plastic wrap, aluminum foil and waxed paper.
Nov. 2018 election: Hickenlooper is on his way out as governor in 2019 — and some reports indicate he may be exploring a presidential run. Meanwhile, Democratic candidate U.S. Rep. Jarid Polis is facing off with Republican Walker Stapleton, who is state treasurer.