U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., on Thursday joined the crowded field vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination when he announced his intention to run for the White House.
Bennet, 54, announced his candidacy during an appearance on CBS’ “CBS This Morning.”
“My plan is to run for president,” he said.
Here are some things to know about Bennet:
- Bennet was born Nov. 28, 1964, in New Delhi, India, the Rocky Mountain News reported in 2009. At the time, Bennet’s father, Douglas Bennet, was serving as an aide to then-U.S. ambassador to India Chester Bowles, according to the newspaper.
- Bennet earned his bachelor’s degree in 1987 from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. In 1993, he earned a law degree from Yale Law School.
- Before joining the Senate, Bennet served as managing director for Anschutz Investment Co. in Denver, overseeing the investment of more than $500 million. From 2003 to 2005, he served as chief of staff to then-Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, who has also announced his plans to run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
In 2005, the Denver school board unanimously chose Bennet to serve as superintendent. He held that role until 2009, when he joined the U.S. Senate.
- Then-Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter appointed Bennet to the U.S. Senate in 2009 to fill the seat vacated by President Barack Obama’s pick for interior secretary, Ken Salazar. In November 2010, voters chose Bennet to serve a full six-year term in office. He won reelection in 2016.
- In April, Bennet underwent surgery after doctors diagnosed him with prostate cancer during a routine physical, according to the Colorado Independent. In an interview with the publication, Bennet called the diagnosis “a brief health care speed bump” and said he would wait until after his surgery to make his decision on whether to run in the 2020 presidential race.
“In all honesty, I know nobody likes being told they have cancer, but I see myself as actually having been lucky,” Bennet told the Independent. “It was detected early. It is highly treatable.”
He said the situation highlighted to him the importance of health care access.
“I don’t want to be hysterical, but if it was left in me undetected, it could kill me,” he told the Independent. “It won’t because I have insurance and decent medical care. The idea that the richest county in the world hasn’t figured out how to have universal health care is beyond embarrassing. It’s devastating.”
- Bennet lives in Denver with his wife, natural resources attorney Susan Daggett, and their three daughters, Caroline, Halina and Anne.
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