A successful businessman and school superintendent, Michael Bennet has built a reputation as someone who will take on Washington dysfunction and work with anyone – Democrat or Republican – to get things done for Colorado.
Michael's desire to represent Colorado in the U.S. Senate is deeply rooted in a moral obligation to leave this country a better place for our kids and the next generation of Americans. Colorado's economy has improved over the last six years, but too many Coloradans aren't feeling the effects of the recovery. So Michael has worked to reduce income inequality by fighting to improve job training programs, increase the minimum wage, ensure equal pay for equal work, and end tax breaks for companies that ship American jobs overseas.
He is married to Susan Daggett, a natural resources attorney, and they have three daughters: Caroline, Halina, and Anne.
Michael has worked across the aisle to prevent government shutdowns by fighting for rules to force senators to stay in Washington, do their jobs and come to an agreement. He has voted to end the automatic yearly pay raises for members of Congress. And Michael is fighting to ban members of Congress from ever becoming lobbyists – because he believes members of Congress' only concern should be making progress for their constituents, not building ties with special interests so they can get rich after they leave office.
From manufactured crises, to government shutdowns forced by extremists in Congress, there is little doubt Washington is broken. But Michael has worked hard to cut through the partisanship and achieve results for Colorado.
As a member of the “Gang of Eight” – four Democrats and four Republicans – Michael was instrumental in writing a compromise to fix our broken immigration system.
Michael used his experience as Superintendent of Denver Public Schools to help rewrite No Child Left Behind, and replace it with a bipartisan law that will reduce high-stakes testing, restore local control of schools, reward performance, and let teachers teach again.
And Michael believes every Coloradan should have the opportunity to attend college. That's why he supports income-based repayment for student loans, more funding for Pell Grants, letting people refinance their student loans – the same way people are allowed to refinance home mortgages or car loans. He also pushed to simplify the application process for student aid so that students and families can better plan for, and afford, college.
Colorado is home to hundreds of thousands of veterans, and Michael believes the country should honor its commitment and provide them with access to the best medical care even after they have finished serving our country. Michael worked with Colorado’s Republican congressmen to break through Washington red tape – to allow veterans who live more than 40 miles from a clinic receive their care from non-V.A. medical clinics.
Michael Bennet has gotten results and fought for the entire state of Colorado: from cutting the bureaucratic red tape stifling our aerospace or bioscience businesses, to passing tax credits to encourage wind or solar energy production, to preserving sensitive landscapes like the Hermosa Creek Watershed, Chimney Rock and Browns Canyon, to bringing a patent office to Colorado, to protecting Western priorities in the Farm Bill.
Michael Bennet knows how to lead during difficult times. As Superintendent of Denver Public Schools, Michael worked with teachers, parents, students, and school administrators to end the cycle of budget cuts and underachievement plaguing the district. He took a commonsense approach to leading the district — holding daily meetings and listening to principals and faculty.
That approach was successful: the district enacted a nationally recognized merit pay system, streamlined the budget, and supported innovation in schools.
Michael has also led difficult turnarounds in the private sector. Before going to work for the City of Denver, he served as the Managing Director of the Anschutz Investment Company, where he helped turn around failing companies and protected jobs.
Michael believes that the best way to break through dysfunction in Washington, D.C. is Colorado common sense. He will continue to listen and work across the aisle to make progress and create more opportunities for all of Colorado.