A former businessman and school superintendent, Michael Bennet uses his experience outside of Washington to break through partisanship and drive progressive solutions in Congress. At the root of Michael’s work is a sense of duty to create more opportunity for the next generation.
During his time representing Colorado in the Senate, Michael has authored innovative proposals to make education, health care, childcare, and housing more affordable and accessible for working families. He also has made climate change a top priority—helping farmers, ranchers, and rural communities become more resilient to changing weather and invest in clean energy.
Michael has been a pragmatic leader, fighting to overcome the dysfunction in Washington. As a member of the bipartisan Gang of Eight, he helped craft comprehensive immigration reform that overwhelmingly passed the Senate. He worked to dramatically reform No Child Left Behind, fast track the FDA approval process for breakthrough medical treatments, conserve iconic public lands, promote clean energy, and crack down on the illicit prescription of opioids. He also was central in crafting and passing the bipartisan Farm Bills in 2014 and 2018, which have provided much-needed stability for America’s farmers and ranchers.
To create durable policies, Michael believes we must reform our politics. He has fought to ban partisan gerrymandering and fix our broken campaign finance system. An impromptu and extemporaneous rebuttal of Senator Ted Cruz during the 2019 government shutdown went viral, becoming the most watched Senate floor speech in history.
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.
Michael won elections in 2010 and 2016—both difficult cycles for Democrats—in a state that is a third Republican, a third Independent, and a third Democratic. In 2010, he prevailed in a general election that saw Democrats lose races up and down the ballot as the Tea Party wave swept America. During that race, Michael said he would be willing to lose his seat by voting for the Affordable Care Act in order to increase Americans’ access to affordable health care. In 2016, Michael won in areas of Colorado that the top of the Democratic ticket lost, including Pueblo County, which he carried by nearly 10 percentage points.
Michael is a member of the Senate Committees on Intelligence; Finance; and Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Michael is married to Susan Daggett, a natural resources attorney, and they have three daughters: Caroline, Halina, and Anne.