Michael Farrand Bennet (born November 28, 1964) is an American businessman, lawyer, and politician who has served as the senior United States Senator from Colorado since 2009. A member of the Democratic Party, he was appointed to the seat when Senator Ken Salazar became Secretary of the Interior. Bennet previously worked as a managing director for the Anschutz Investment Company, chief of staff to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, and Superintendent of Denver Public Schools.
Bennet is the son of Douglas J. Bennet, a former State Department official and president of Wesleyan University. Early in his career, Bennet worked for Ohio Governor Richard Celeste. He went on to receive his Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School, after which he worked as a law clerk and later as Counsel to the U.S. Deputy Attorney General in the Bill Clinton administration.
Bennet became superintendent of the Denver public school system in July 2005. In late 2008 he was speculated to be a candidate for Obama’s United States Secretary of Education. He was appointed by Governor Bill Ritter to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Ken Salazar when Salazar became Secretary of the Interior in January 2009. Bennet was elected in the 2010 Senate election, defeating Republican Ken Buck. He chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) for the 2014 cycle and was reelected to the Senate in 2016.
On May 2, 2019, Bennet announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. He dropped out of the race on February 11, 2020, after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary.