The Washington Times - July 31, 2012, 06:26PM

DENVER — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has dealt with his share of bad news this summer, and on Tuesday there was more: He and his wife announced that they have separated.

In a joint statement, they said they had agreed to an amiable separation after undergoing “extended counseling.” They also made it clear that there was no extramarital affair involved, and that the decision was “unrelated to the difficult events Colorado has faced this summer.”


Mr. Hickenlooper, a Democrat, has become a fixture on national television this year while grappling with the state’s disastrous wildfire season in June and the Aurora theater shooting in July. He has been increasingly mentioned as a possible Democratic presidential candidate in 2016.

Denver pollster Floyd Ciruli said he doubted the separation would hurt Mr. Hickenlooper’s political prospects. The governor’s wife, writer Helen Thorpe, had maintained a very low profile as Colorado first lady and was little-known to most voters.

“She was not really politically active — she was a private person and preferred to concentrate on her writing career — so I think the public knew her less,” said Mr. Ciruli. “So as long as there’s no scandal, I think this amiable separation is going to pass quickly.”

Mr. Hickenlooper was 50 and one of Denver’s most eligible bachelors when they married in 2002. The two have a 10-year-old son, Teddy, and said that they plan to continue spending time as a family.

“You can continue to expect to see both of us out in the community — sometimes together, sometimes solo,” said the statement. “Please feel free to include both of us in social gatherings as we will not find it awkward.”