Senator Michael Bennet
What you need to know: Recently appointed Senator Michael Bennet will put up a strong fight against any challenger.
Democrat - Challenger
Endorsed for U.S. Senate by Council for a Livable World
Last year, Michael Bennet (D-CO) was appointed to the U.S. Senate to replace former Senator and now Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar (DCO). A capable, reform-minded administrator whom President Obama had considered for Secretary of Education, Bennet was plucked from his position as Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools. He had neither sought nor held public office. The Governor of Colorado appointed Bennet because he is known as a reformer, someone who brings a different perspective to politics, who can use his experience in business and in education to get things done for Colorado inWashington.
National Republicans have recruited former Colorado Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton (R) to run against Bennet in 2010. However, Norton has not yet cleared the field of the other Republicans. In the meantime, Bennet has been traveling around the state to make himself better known while also raising money for his campaign. At the end of December, he had raised $4.8 million and had $3.5 million cashon- hand in his campaign account.
Bennet’s election prospects have also been complicated by an unexpected Democratic primary challenge. Ex-state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D), who had angled for the appointment to replace Salazar, declared his candidacy on September 16. While Romanoff’s campaign has gotten off to a slow start, neither party’s nomination will be sure until the August primary.
According to National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesperson Brian Walsh, "The Colorado Senate seat was already going to be a top priority for Republicans this cycle."
Colorado is currently in political transition from rock-ribbed Republican to a two-party state. In 2000, GeorgeW. Bush carried the state by nine percentage points, the Governor was Republican as were both Senators, and the congressional delegation had four Republicans and two Democrats. In the 2008 election, Obama captured the state’s electoral votes by eight points. Now, the Governor and both Senators are Democrats and Democrats control the congressional delegation by a margin of five to two.
Born in 1964 in New Delhi, India, Bennet earned his bachelor’s degree fromWesleyan University and his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of The Yale Law Journal. He practiced law, worked in the Clinton Justice Department, managed an investment company, served as Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s chief of staff, and then accepted the challenge of improving Denver’s failing school system.
For many years, Bennet has had a strong commitment to national security issues. He supports President Obama’s efforts to negotiate a new treaty with Russia for reciprocal deep cuts in nuclear arsenals as well as ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. He supports the President’s goal of securing and retrieving nuclear weapons-usable materials worldwide and the Kissinger-Schultz-Nunn-Perry vision of moving toward a world free of nuclear weapons.
He also supports the Obama plan for ending the war in Iraq and opposes deployment of missile defense at this time. Because Colorado has endured the toxic legacy of its Rocky Mountain arsenal, which once built deadly nerve gas weapons, he understands the dire consequences of some of our country’s weapons policies.
Senator Bennet is bracing for a tough battle, but we believe that he can retain his seat. Bennet is already a fine addition to the U.S. Senate, an unusual public servant who will make a difference for years to come.
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Michael Bennet for Senate
Council for a Livable World
322 4th St. NE
Washington, DC 20002
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Livable World Candidate Fund. Contributions are not tax deductible.