Senior Aides to John Hickenlooper‘s presidential campaign reportedly urged the candidate to drop from the race and run for Senate instead, said sources familiar with the discussion.

The meeting occurred after the Democratic National Committee announced that it was raising the requirements for candidates to participate in the third and fourth sets of Democratic primary debates later this year. As Hickenlooper only has 13,000 unique donors, many think that it is highly unlikely he will reach the 130,000 donors needed to take the stage in September.

Another point made by aides was that Hickenlooper only raised $1 million in the second quarter, creating a real risk of running out of funds in the next stage of campaigning if the governor’s campaign doesn’t gain traction.


On Monday, Hickenlooper reorganized his campaign staff, getting rid of his campaign manager, finance director, and spokeswoman. A senior Democrat who spoke to the candidate that night told CNN that Hickenlooper was still attempting to win the Democratic nomination. “He’s staying in,” the senior Democrat said, adding that Hickenlooper will reassess after the second debate, which is set to take place at the end of July.

Hickenlooper has shown little interest in challenging the Republican incumbent senator in Colorado, Cory Gardener. When asked about a Senate run in January, the former Governor said, “It would be hard for me — and I am not saying I couldn’t do it and I am not saying my patriotic duty may compel me to do it — but my character, what activates me, motivates me is building teams and surrounding myself with really talented people, taking big bites out of major challenges and then doing them.”

So far Hickenlooper has failed to break out from the crowded Democratic primary field. His performance in the June debates was largely unimpressive, and many voters believe that the governor brings nothing to the table that would put him above a more diverse, experienced, or likable candidate.