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Four Democratic governors to speak at Aspen Institute
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Four Democratic governors to speak at Aspen Institute

Gov. John Hickenlooper in Yuma, Colo.
Gov. John Hickenlooper in Yuma, Colo.
This year's Aspen Institute McCloskey Speaker Series will welcome four Democratic Governors in conversation with Aspen Institute Executive Vice President Elliot Gerson.

The event will take place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.on July 13 in the Greenwald Pavilion on the Institute’s Aspen Meadows campus in Aspen.

The conversation will feature Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, and Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont.

Gov. Mark Dayton is Minnesota's 40th governor. Before becoming governor, Dayton taught 9th grade general science for two years in a New York City public school. For most of the past 34 years, Dayton has served Minnesotans, as Commissioner of the Minnesota Departments of Economic Development and of Energy and Economic Development, as state auditor, and as U.S. senator. He has worked throughout the state to help businesses locate or expand and create jobs, to improve local government services, to better fund our public schools, to support servicemen and women, to help Minnesotans get the healthcare they need, and in many other ways to make a better Minnesota. Currently Dayton serves on the Executive Committee of the National Governor's Association. He graduated, cum laude, from Yale University, where he played Division I hockey.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper was elected in 2010. His unconventional road to the Capitol began when he left the oilfields of western Colorado in the late 1980s and opened the state’s first brewpub. He has served nearly eight years as mayor before running for governor and gaining the position with 51 percent of the vote in a three-way race. As governor, Hickenlooper has worked to make Colorado one of the best places in the US for entrepreneurs to grow jobs. He has worked to balance the state budget plan without raising taxes and aims to support economic development while maintaining the highest environmental standards.

Governor Jay Inslee is the 23rd governor of Washington. He first became involved in public service in 1985 when he helped lead the effort to build a new public high school in Selah. Motivated to fight against proposed funding cuts for rural schools, Inslee went on to represent the 14th Legislative District in the Washington House of Representatives. He continued serving communities in the Yakima Valley when he was elected to Congress in 1992. The Inslees later moved back to the Puget Sound area where Inslee was elected to Congress in 1998, serving until 2012. During his time in Congress, he became known as a forward-thinking leader, especially on issues of clean energy and the environment. He co-wrote a book, “Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean-Energy Economy,” about the job-creating potential of the clean tech industry. As governor, Inslee’s top priority is growing Washington's innovative industries such as clean energy, IT and life sciences, and strengthening existing industries such as aerospace, agriculture, maritime, and military.

Gov. Peter Shumlin is the 81st governor of Vermont. Before becoming governor, Shumlin was the longtime co-director of Putney Student Travel and National Geographic Student Expeditions, a company that sends students on educational programs and service projects across the globe. In 1990, Gov. Madeleine Kunin appointed Shumlin to fill an empty seat in the Vermont House of Representatives, where he served for three years. He then served Windham County for eight terms in the Vermont Senate and was elected by his colleagues to lead the Senate as president pro tem the majority of that time. Since his inauguration, his priorities have included creating jobs, and raising incomes for those who have jobs; controlling skyrocketing health care costs; expanding broadband and cell service to every corner of the state; investing in quality education opportunities; and rebuilding the state’s roads and bridges.

The series is made possible by a gift from the McCloskey Family Charitable Foundation. Tickets are $20 each and are on sale through Aspen Show Tickets at the Wheeler. As a full-capacity audience is expected for this program, early ticket purchasing is encouraged. Doors will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the event, and unclaimed tickets will be on sale at the door
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