The Denver Post reported over the weekend that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper has told his staff that he has not ruled out a run for governor:

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper on Friday told his Cabinet officers that he has not ruled out running for governor, but said that so far he has not found a compelling reason to enter the race. The mayor told his top appointees that perhaps he should listen to the political activists and supporters who are pressuring him to run, said people who attended the meeting.

“A number of people from both sides of the political aisle continue to encourage the mayor to consider running,” said Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, Hickenlooper’s spokeswoman. “He has learned nothing so far to convince him to run, as he absolutely loves being mayor of Denver.”

The pressure on Hickenlooper to get into the race is rising because candidates need a year to raise enough money to mount a statewide campaign. Hickenlooper was scheduled to meet with a prominent Democratic fundraiser Saturday, a source said Friday.

At first glance this may all seem fairly innocent, but for Hickenlooper, this likely means that he is moving towards running for governor. There are a couple of things that stand out from that story, the first of which is that the story was even written at all. Hick’s staff is generally pretty tight-lipped, so they wouldn’t have spoken out about this unless they were given the green light to do so. This was no random statement; it was done with the clear intent ion that it would be picked up by the media.

Hick may be floating the idea that he is reconsidering a run for governor, which he all but ruled out a few months ago, as the first in a series of steps that leads him into the race. There’s no real reason to make it known that he is thinking of running unless he is getting close to jumping in the race. As the Post story indicates, Hick also met with a Democratic fundraiser on Saturday, which is an odd weekend meeting to have one week before Christmas unless you have a specific agenda in mind.

The door isn’t open all the way, but Hick is definitely sticking his foot inside. Don’t be surprised if we know by mid-January that The Mayor has decided to try to become The Governor.