Failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Johnston is already rolling his hat around the ring to challenge U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020.

But his priority now is to get Jared Polis elected governor, he assures Westword. It’s the least he can do after Polis spanked him in the primary.

In the next several months, though, Johnston confirms that “I’ll talk to my wife, my family and my friends. We’ll take a look at the landscape and how we can make the biggest impact on the state. So we’ll certainly consider [running against Gardner], but we haven’t made any big decisions.”

Westword predicts Johnston will make his decision after Election Day, which ironically is when we predict Gov. Hickenlooper will announce his political future.

And we don’t think it will be a White House run.

What Johnston is really waiting on, is for Hickenlooper to decide whether he wants to challenge Gardner.

Johnston ran third in the Democratic primary against Polis and pulled in less than 150,000 votes.

There’s no way Johnston could get past Hickenlooper in a primary.

And although Johnston waxes eloquently about how energized he thought the Democrats were for the governor’s race, only 637,000 voted in their primary.

Compare that to Gardner’s total in 2014 of nearly 984,000 votes to beat the Udall dynasty, and think again.

Johnston might want to consult with more than just family and friends before deciding to take on Gardner.

They were probably the same folks who assured Johnston that if he only had two more debates and another month to campaign, he could have beaten Polis.