An unidentified Democrat on Wednesday night told The Associated Press that Hickenlooper, who campaigned as a moderate against extreme partisanship, planned to end his presidential bid.
Hickenlooper appeared last weekend in Iowa, but the Wall Street Journal reported he returned afterward to Denver to discuss his future plans with family members and advisers. The newspaper reported he had been expected to hold additional campaign events next week in Iowa.
Since at least early this month, Hickenlooper has been discussing a possible run for the U.S. Senate, the Times reported.
Hickenlooper said earlier this year that he was "not cut out to be a senator," according to the Journal, though Colorado Democrats have repeatedly pushed for him to run for the U.S. Senate currently held by Republican Sen. Cory Gardner. Hickenlooper's communications director, Peter Cunningham, told CNN last week that Hickenlooper "hasn't closed the door to anything."
He was not expected to announce Thursday whether he would indeed run to flip Gardner's seat, according to the AP. If he does decide to run, he'll face another crowded Democratic primary field. The AP reported several Colorado Democrats have launched bids to unseat Gardner, who is up for reelection in 2020.
Thursday's announcement made Hickenlooper the second Democrat to drop a bid for the presidential nomination. In July, U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, of California announced he was leaving the race.