The 2005 election isn’t even a week old, but already the talk has turned to 2006. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper is once again at the forefront of that talk and is being strongly encouraged by some of the bigger players in Colorado politics to consider running for governor.

While Hick said back in August that he wasn’t interested in running for governor, apparently his statements weren’t enough to end the speculation. Hickenlooper is wildly popular and only seems to be getting more popular in the aftermath of the media barrage that saw him jumping out of an airplane and dressing up like a giant blue bear. It’s no secret that Hick would be the front-runner, likely by a wide margin, if he decided to run for governor, and Democrats who are concerned about taking back the governor’s mansion in 2006 have once again put on the full-court press.

Will Hickenlooper say yes to the crooning coming his way? He’s deflected the calls for him to run in the past, but six months ago the 2006 election was so far out that he could shrug it off. With the 2005 election behind us the next big race is now right around the corner, and he can’t just turn his cheek any longer. Within the next couple of weeks Hick may come out and say, once and for all, whether he’s going to try for the biggest office in the state.