Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, at right and on stage, addressed thousands of delegates on Wednesday. Photo Credit: David Lari/QNotes.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, known to many nationwide after the Aurora shooting tragedy and after wildfires struck his state this season, delivered remarks at the convention podium on Wednesday.

He took the time to begin with a moment of gratitude.

“As many of you know, we had a challenging summer in Colorado: wildfires that devastated homes and businesses, took livelihoods and lives; then, a few weeks later, terrible shootings in a darkened theater,” Hickenlooper said. “So, on behalf of everyone in Colorado, let me start tonight by saying thank you. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your generosity to families who lost so much.”

Hickenlooper also praised Obama and his work to create a new energy strategy toward new jobs and his policies on exports.

“He set a goal of doubling exports in five years, and so far, they’re up by almost 40 percent,” he said. “In Colorado, agricultural exports jumped 59 percent. Overseas tourism is up nearly 30 percent in Colorado.”

The end isn’t quite in sight, Hickenlooper said. But, it is close. “We’ve still got a lot of ground to cover as a country, but we are coming back,” said Hickenlooper. “Not as fast as we want or need, but unlike four years ago, we are finally moving in the right direction.”

Hickenlooper, who has been supportive of efforts to extend civil unions to same-sex couples in his state, said America is “a collection of talented, self-motivated individuals competing in a marketplace. But it’s more than that; it’s also a community that believes in the common good.”

— James Nichols contributed to this report.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.