DENVER — Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) is officially looking to move his office in Washington, D.C. two miles west to The White House.
Colorado's Democratic senior senator announced on Thursday morning that he is officially a Democratic candidate for president.
"Michael is running for president to build opportunity for every American and restore integrity to our government. He has the experience, political record, and temperament to lead our country," said a news release provided by his campaign "Bennet for America."
On April 3, Bennet revealed that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
On April 19, he announced that his surgery was successful and that he would not require any additional treatment.
Bennet will return to Colorado for a family function and then campaign in Iowa this weekend. He has already made multiple trips to Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states that have the first caucuses and primary in 2020.
His profile grew during the government shutdown in January. During a speech on the Senate floor, he took on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who wanted to pay Coast Guard members, while keeping the government shut down.
"I have worked very hard over the years to work in a bipartisan way with the presiding officer, with my Republican colleagues, but these crocodile tears that the senator from Texas is crying for first responders are too hard for me to take," said Bennet on Jan. 24. "Because when the senator from Texas shut this government down, my state was flooded. It was underwater. People were killed. People’s houses were destroyed. Their small businesses were ruined forever."
That was a reference to the Sept. 2013 floods in Colorado.
One month after that speech, Bennet went to Iowa to explore running for president. During that trip, he told 9NEWS political reporter Marshall Zelinger that his floor speech had nothing to do with his Iowa visit.
"I would have been here anyway, I think it's interesting to see how many people have seen that floor speech, but that's not why I came," he told 9NEWS on Feb. 22.
He said that it was the election of President Trump that had him thinking about running for president himself.
"Part of it was the election of Donald Trump and the feeling that we had gone in a very different direction than the one I believe we should be headed in," he said. "It doesn't have anything to do with Democratic or Republican, it has to do with the progress this country has made over generations to make us more free, more inclusive."
While in that first trip to Iowa, Bennet said it was strange to think about running for president.
"I have to admit, it's weird to think that you're in a position to be able to consider or contemplate that," said Bennet.
Bennet was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 2009, after then-Sen. Ken Salazar was selected as President Obama's Interior Secretary. Bennet won his election in 2010 over Republican Ken Buck by nearly 30,000 votes: 47% to 45.3%.
He was reelected in 2016 over Republican Darryl Glenn by 155,000 votes: 50% to 44.3%.
In the news release from "Bennet for America," his biography left out the specifics of one political job he's held.
"Before his appointment to the Senate, Michael served as Superintendent of Denver Public Schools, where he streamlined the budget, supported innovation in schools, and improved student outcomes. Before going to work for the City of Denver, he served as a Managing Director of the Anschutz Investment Company, helping turn around failing firms and saving jobs. Prior to that, he was an attorney with a major international law firm and served in the United States Department of Justice," his release stated.
What it glossed over is the work he did with the city of Denver. Bennet was the chief of staff of then-mayor John Hickenlooper, who announced his presidential candidacy in March.
When Bennet visited eastern and central Iowa in February, it was at the same time Hickenlooper made multiple stops in western and central Iowa. They did not cross paths, but both said they were still in communication with each other. Neither were official presidential candidates at the time. Now, the former employer and employee are two of nearly two dozen Democratic candidates.
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