Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Michael Bennet Michael Bennet

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Almanac

Search

Enter your search query or use our Advanced People Search. Need Help? View our search tips

View Saved Lists
View Saved Lists
Democrat

Sen. Michael Bennet (D)

Michael Bennet Contact
Back to top
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-224-5852

Address: 458 RSOB, DC 20510

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (303) 455-7600

Address: 1127 Sherman Street, Denver CO 80203

Grand Junction CO

Phone: (970) 241-6631

Fax: (970) 241-8313

Address: 225 North Fifth Street, Grand Junction CO 81501-2656

Colorado Springs CO

Phone: (719) 328-1100

Fax: (719) 328-1129

Address: 409 North Tejon Street, Colorado Springs CO 80903-1163

Durango CO

Phone: (970) 259-1710

Fax: (970) 259-9789

Address: 835 East Second Avenue, Durango CO 81301

Fort Collins CO

Phone: (970) 224-2200

Fax: (970) 224-2205

Address: 1200 South College Avenue, Fort Collins CO 80524-3746

Pueblo CO

Phone: (719) 542-7550

Fax: (719) 542-7555

Address: 129 West B Street, Pueblo CO 81003-3400

Alamosa CO

Phone: (719) 587-0096

Fax: (719) 587-0098

Address: 609 Main Street, Alamosa CO 81101-2557

Michael Bennet Staff
Back to top
Sort by INTEREST NAME TITLE
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Sherman, Laura
Senior Policy Advisor
Frickel, Conor
Legislative Aide
Appel, Brian
Legislative Director; Legislative Counsel
Prowitt, Tim
Legislative Aide
Appel, Brian
Legislative Director; Legislative Counsel
Appel, Brian
Legislative Director; Legislative Counsel
Rodarte, Rocio
Legislative Correspondent
Appel, Brian
Legislative Director; Legislative Counsel
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Rodarte, Rocio
Legislative Correspondent
Mahler-Haug, Maria
Military Legislative Assistant
Rodarte, Rocio
Legislative Correspondent
Mahler-Haug, Maria
Military Legislative Assistant
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Herman, Juliana
Legislative Assistant
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Prowitt, Tim
Legislative Aide
Sherman, Laura
Senior Policy Advisor
Prowitt, Tim
Legislative Aide
Sherman, Laura
Senior Policy Advisor
Frickel, Conor
Legislative Aide
Resendiz, Priscilla
Constituent Services Advocate; Latino Outreach Coordinator
Appel, Brian
Legislative Director; Legislative Counsel
Prowitt, Tim
Legislative Aide
Appel, Brian
Legislative Director; Legislative Counsel
Sherman, Laura
Senior Policy Advisor
Frickel, Conor
Legislative Aide
Rodarte, Rocio
Legislative Correspondent
Frickel, Conor
Legislative Aide
Rodarte, Rocio
Legislative Correspondent
Brierley, Leif
Health Policy Fellow
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Rodarte, Rocio
Legislative Correspondent
Frickel, Conor
Legislative Aide
Rodarte, Rocio
Legislative Correspondent
Appel, Brian
Legislative Director; Legislative Counsel
Prowitt, Tim
Legislative Aide
Mahler-Haug, Maria
Military Legislative Assistant
Frickel, Conor
Legislative Aide
Rodarte, Rocio
Legislative Correspondent
Rodarte, Rocio
Legislative Correspondent
Frickel, Conor
Legislative Aide
Rodarte, Rocio
Legislative Correspondent
Rodarte, Rocio
Legislative Correspondent
Brierley, Leif
Health Policy Fellow
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Brierley, Leif
Health Policy Fellow
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Brierley, Leif
Health Policy Fellow
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Mahler-Haug, Maria
Military Legislative Assistant
Frickel, Conor
Legislative Aide
Resendiz, Priscilla
Constituent Services Advocate; Latino Outreach Coordinator
Prowitt, Tim
Legislative Aide
Sherman, Laura
Senior Policy Advisor
Frickel, Conor
Legislative Aide
Rodarte, Rocio
Legislative Correspondent
Appel, Brian
Legislative Director; Legislative Counsel
Prowitt, Tim
Legislative Aide
Herman, Juliana
Legislative Assistant
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Appel, Brian
Legislative Director; Legislative Counsel
Prowitt, Tim
Legislative Aide
Parikh, Riki
Policy Aide; Communications Aide
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Appel, Brian
Legislative Director; Legislative Counsel
Prowitt, Tim
Legislative Aide
Prowitt, Tim
Legislative Aide
Sherman, Laura
Senior Policy Advisor
Golonka, Lacey
Veteran Advocate (on leave)
Mahler-Haug, Maria
Military Legislative Assistant
Walsh, Serita
Veterans' Constituent Advocate
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Appel, Brian
Legislative Director; Legislative Counsel
Barela, Jennifer
Regional Representative
Bidlack, Hal
Constituent Advocate
Bobicki, Charlotte
Regional Representative
Bolling, Patrice
Administrative Director
Bozzi, Adam
Communications Director
Brierley, Leif
Health Policy Fellow
Clelland, Philip
Deputy Press Secretary
Clexton, Angela
Assistant to the Chief of Staff; Deputy Scheduler
Frickel, Conor
Legislative Aide
Golonka, Lacey
Veteran Advocate (on leave)
Herman, Juliana
Legislative Assistant
Hoffman, Sean
Staff Assistant
Hughes, Sarah
Deputy Chief of Staff
Koerper, Noah
Constituent Advocate
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Mahler-Haug, Maria
Military Legislative Assistant
Merchant, Monisha
Senior Advisor for Business Affairs
Mollet, Kristin
Director of Scheduling
Montgomery, Becca
State Policy Director
Parikh, Riki
Policy Aide; Communications Aide
Prowitt, Tim
Legislative Aide
Resendiz, Priscilla
Constituent Services Advocate; Latino Outreach Coordinator
Rodarte, Rocio
Legislative Correspondent
Serenil, Eva
Constituent Advocate
Sherman, Laura
Senior Policy Advisor
Torres, Aaron
Constituent Advocate
Walsh, Serita
Veterans' Constituent Advocate
Whitney, John
Regional Director
Kosoglu, Rohini
Senior Health Care Advisor
Merchant, Monisha
Senior Advisor for Business Affairs
Sherman, Laura
Senior Policy Advisor
Bidlack, Hal
Constituent Advocate
Golonka, Lacey
Veteran Advocate (on leave)
Koerper, Noah
Constituent Advocate
Resendiz, Priscilla
Constituent Services Advocate; Latino Outreach Coordinator
Serenil, Eva
Constituent Advocate
Torres, Aaron
Constituent Advocate
Walsh, Serita
Veterans' Constituent Advocate
Frickel, Conor
Legislative Aide
Parikh, Riki
Policy Aide; Communications Aide
Prowitt, Tim
Legislative Aide
Clexton, Angela
Assistant to the Chief of Staff; Deputy Scheduler
Bozzi, Adam
Communications Director
Resendiz, Priscilla
Constituent Services Advocate; Latino Outreach Coordinator
Appel, Brian
Legislative Director; Legislative Counsel
Hughes, Sarah
Deputy Chief of Staff
Clelland, Philip
Deputy Press Secretary
Bolling, Patrice
Administrative Director
Mollet, Kristin
Director of Scheduling
Montgomery, Becca
State Policy Director
Whitney, John
Regional Director
Brierley, Leif
Health Policy Fellow
Herman, Juliana
Legislative Assistant
Mahler-Haug, Maria
Military Legislative Assistant
Rodarte, Rocio
Legislative Correspondent
Appel, Brian
Legislative Director; Legislative Counsel
Barela, Jennifer
Regional Representative
Bobicki, Charlotte
Regional Representative
Clexton, Angela
Assistant to the Chief of Staff; Deputy Scheduler
Hoffman, Sean
Staff Assistant
Note: You can only itemize lists in the Interests and Title sections
Save List
X

Your saved lists will appear under My Saved Lists on The Almanac's landing page.

Michael Bennet Committees
Back to top
Michael Bennet Biography
Back to top
  • Elected: Appointed Jan. 2009, term expires 2016, 1st full term.
  • State: Colorado
  • Born: Nov. 28, 1964, New Delhi, India
  • Home: Denver
  • Education:

    Wesleyan U., B.A. 1987; Yale U., J.D. 1993.

  • Professional Career:

    Dep. atty. gen., U.S. Dept. of Justice, 1995-97; Managing dir., Anschutz Investment Co., 1997-2003; Chief of staff, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, 2003-05; Superintendent, Denver Public Schl., 2005-09.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    No religious affiliation

  • Family: Married (Susan Daggett); 3 children

Colorado’s senior senator is Michael Bennet, a Democrat appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter in January 2009 to succeed Ken Salazar, who had been named Interior secretary by President Barack Obama. Having pulled off an impressive 2010 victory to win the seat in his own right, Bennet in 2012 entered the leadership ranks as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, stepping aside in 2015 to concentrate on his 2016 reelection. Read More

Colorado’s senior senator is Michael Bennet, a Democrat appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter in January 2009 to succeed Ken Salazar, who had been named Interior secretary by President Barack Obama. Having pulled off an impressive 2010 victory to win the seat in his own right, Bennet in 2012 entered the leadership ranks as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, stepping aside in 2015 to concentrate on his 2016 reelection.

Bennet was born in New Delhi, India, where his father, Douglas Bennet, was an aide to Ambassador Chester Bowles. His mother and her family were Jews who emigrated from Poland after World War II. His younger brother, James, has been The Atlantic’s editor-in-chief since 2006 and was named its co-president in 2014. Michael grew up and attended private schools in Washington, D.C., while his father pursued his career in public service. Douglas Bennet was a staffer for Vice President Hubert Humphrey, assistant secretary of state in the Carter administration and later president of National Public Radio. The younger Bennet graduated from Wesleyan University, and went to work as an aide to Ohio Democratic Gov. Richard Celeste, a family friend. In 1990, Bennet entered Yale Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. He clerked for a federal judge in Baltimore, where he met his wife, Susan Daggett, and then joined Lloyd Cutler’s influential law firm in Washington. In 1995, he was named counsel to Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick in the Clinton administration and wrote speeches for Attorney General Janet Reno.

In 1997, he moved to Denver, where his wife, a natural resources lawyer, went to work for the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund. Bennet took a job with the investment company headed by billionaire Philip Anschutz, a political conservative. Bennet had never read a balance sheet, and Anschutz told him to attend accounting school at night at his own expense. Eventually, Bennet got such assignments as restructuring $3 billion in debt for several companies, including Forcenergy, Regal Cinemas, United Artists, and Edwards Theatres. He also oversaw the consolidation of the three theater chains into Regal Entertainment Group, the world’s largest movie theater company.

In 2003, a fellow Wesleyan alumnus, John Hickenlooper, was elected Denver mayor and asked Bennet to be his chief of staff. Bennet says he gave up millions in stock options to accept “an opportunity that wouldn’t come around again.” He worked on balancing the budget, mediating a dispute between United and Frontier airlines at Denver International Airport, and brokering agreements with public-employee unions. “I have referred to him as the second mayor, the hidden mayor,” Hickenlooper, who later became governor, told The Denver Post. In 2005, the position of Denver Public Schools superintendent came open, and among the 14 top candidates was Bennet—even though he had no experience in education, had himself attended private schools, and was sending his daughter to a private kindergarten. In 2005, the board picked him to head a system of 73,000 students, three-quarters of them Latino or African-American and two-thirds of them eligible for the school lunch program. He instituted a “Denver Plan,” which boosted performance standards in the schools and created workshops to teach principals how to lead schools to reform. An early childhood education program was put in place, and more than 90% of five-year-olds got full-day kindergarten. By 2008, test scores were on the rise, but Denver schools still performed below statewide levels. Only 46% of Denver students showed proficiency in reading and 35% in math, compared to the statewide averages of 68% and 53%, respectively.

When Obama was running for president in 2008, Bennet co-hosted a fundraiser for the then-Illinois senator. He was later included in the Democratic candidate’s weekly education conference calls with innovative big city school heads. After Obama was elected, Bennet was on the short list for secretary of Education, although Obama ultimately chose Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan. Yet Bennet was not even considered a long shot for U.S. senator after Obama named Salazar his Interior secretary. That left it up to Democratic Gov. Ritter to appoint a replacement to serve until Salazar’s Senate seat came up for reelection in 2010. Bennet had limited national experience, consisting mainly of a 2004 speech he gave to a group of business leaders denouncing the Iraq war and President George W. Bush.

The more obvious candidates were outgoing state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, who had ties to Democratic politicians and activists across the state, and Hickenlooper, Bennet’s mentor, who was well-known and popular throughout the state. On January 2, 2009, Ritter astonished just about everyone by naming Bennet, saying he was impressed with his record of bringing diverse interests together to solve problems and by his pragmatic approach to turning around troubled public and private enterprises. Republican leaders relished the prospect of taking on a candidate far less formidable electorally than Hickenlooper or Romanoff in 2010.

Once in office, Bennet tackled a number of government reforms, including measures to restrict the use of the filibuster and to tighten campaign finance rules. He dug into legislating with gusto. On the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, he introduced a bill in August 2010 to strengthen the Food and Drug Administration’s ability to identify and prevent tainted drugs from reaching consumers. The measure—one of the rare examples of bipartisan cooperation in the 112th Congress—became law in July 2012. Drawing on his experience with Denver’s schools, he added more than half a dozen proposals to the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind education law, including tying new teacher licensing to performance and increasing the flexibility of school districts in spending federal money. During the fight over health insurance reform, he secured Senate passage of an amendment that established a deficit-neutral reserve fund to address inequities in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to providers. It also required Medicare savings to be invested back into the program.

As he prepared to seek election to the seat in his own right in 2010, he drew a ferocious challenge in the Democratic primary from former state House Speaker Romanoff, who portrayed himself as the outsider in the race and attacked Bennet, a one-time investment banker, as a tool of Wall Street. He also accused Bennet of failing to support the public health insurance option component of health care reform, which liberals favored. Bennet proved to be a strong fundraiser, and heavily outspent Romanoff. He insisted that he had indeed supported the public option, which was left out of the final health care law because of opposition from party conservatives. One setback for him was a damaging New York Times article that said Bennet’s efforts to eliminate a $400 million hole in the pension fund when he was Denver schools chief ended up forcing the school district further into debt. The story ran just four days before the primary, as Romanoff was surging in the polls. However, in a year that was widely viewed as tough for incumbents, Bennet defeated Romanoff 54% to 46%.

In November, Bennet faced another tough contest against Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, who had won the GOP nomination over the establishment Republican candidate, former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, with the backing of tea party activists. Buck portrayed Bennet as part of the problem in big-spending Washington, and attacked his votes for Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus bill and the health care legislation. Buck called for dismantling the U.S. Department of Education, advocated replacing the income tax with a national sales tax, and said he opposed abortion in all circumstances. He was also gaffe-prone. Bennet and the Democrats made an issue of his 2005 decision as district attorney not to prosecute an accused rapist because a jury would likely conclude that her complaint was a case of “buyer’s remorse.” In an appearance on Meet the Press, Buck compared homosexuality to alcoholism, saying, “I think that birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism and some other things. But I think that basically, you have a choice.”

With $11.5 million in campaign funds, Bennet saturated the airwaves with Buck’s missteps and portrayed him as too extreme for Colorado’s independent-minded voters. Buck raised $5 million and had help from the GOP-friendly American Crossroads, which invested $5 million in negative ads against Bennet. But the Democrat held the upper hand in the air war in spite of his votes for major elements of the Obama agenda, which were hurting Democratic incumbents elsewhere. Colorado College political scientist Bob Loevy told The Denver Post, “To a very large extent, Bennet made the issue not about the national economy, but about the characteristics of Ken Buck.”

Bennet won 48% to 46%. Exit polls showed that he was heavily favored by independent voters and benefited from a significant gender gap. Women voted for Bennet over Buck 56% to 40%; he carried unaffiliated voters 52% to 41%, and Hispanics by 2-to-1. None of this escaped the attention of Obama’s reelection campaign, which used much the same strategy in 2012 against Republican Mitt Romney. “We did stitch together a winning coalition in 2010, and I think that coalition is part of the basis of what they are doing here in Colorado,” Bennet told The New York Times.

Bennet is quick to join bipartisan coalitions. In recent years, he joined a group of senators to tackle comprehensive immigration reform, and, he joined with Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander in trying to find a bipartisan way to escape the looming “fiscal cliff” in late 2012 through a package of tax cuts and deductions as well as entitlement reform. Bennet was one of just three Senate Democrats to oppose the final agreement on New Year’s Eve 2013, saying it “does not put in place a real process to reduce the debt down the road.” Also in 2012, Bennet was disappointed when his work to extend tax credits for wind energy stalled after running into Republican resistance. The difficulty of getting bills to the finish line prompted him to tell The Washington Post in March 2012, “My chief of staff said to me, ‘You know, it’s not okay to hate your job.’ And he’s right. There’s no point in wallowing in self-pity. No one’s going to feel sorry for you.”

Shortly after the 2012 election, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offered Bennet the DSCC chairmanship, but it took Bennet three weeks to agree to take the position. As compensation for the difficult task, Bennet was given a coveted seat on the powerful Finance Committee.

Show Less
Michael Bennet Election Results
Back to top
2010 General
Michael Bennet (D)
Votes: 851,590
Percent: 48.05%
Spent: $11,536,750
Ken Buck
Votes: 822,731
Percent: 46.42%
Spent: $4,953,818
Bob Kinsey
Votes: 38,768
Percent: 2.19%
2010 Primary
Michael Bennet (D)
Votes: 184,714
Percent: 54.15%
Andrew Romanoff
Votes: 156,419
Percent: 45.85%
Michael Bennet Votes and Bills
Back to top NJ Vote Ratings

National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 62 (L) : 36 (C) 57 (L) : 42 (C) 59 (L) : 40 (C)
Social 64 (L) : 34 (C) 52 (L) : 45 (C) 52 (L) : - (C)
Foreign 66 (L) : 29 (C) 60 (L) : 39 (C) 68 (L) : 26 (C)
Composite 65.5 (L) : 34.5 (C) 57.2 (L) : 42.8 (C) 68.8 (L) : 31.2 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC140
LCV100100
CFG1416
ITIC-88
NTU1515
20112012
COC64-
ACLU-75
ACU54
ADA9090
AFSCME100-
Key Senate Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Block faith exemptions
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Approve gas pipeline
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Approve farm bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Let cyber bill proceed
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Block Gitmo transfers
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass balanced budget amendment
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Stop EPA climate regulations
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Proceed to Cordray vote
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Require talking filibuster
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Limit Fannie/Freddie
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Ratify New START
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Confirm Elena Kagan
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop EPA climate regs
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $787 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Repeal DC gun laws
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Confirm Sonia Sotomayor
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar budget rules for climate bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass 2010 budget resolution
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let judges adjust mortgages
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Allow FDA to regulate tobacco
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Protect gays from hate crimes
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Cut F-22 funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Label North Korea terrorist state
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Build Guantanamo replacement
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Allow federal funds for abortion
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
Read More
 
Browse The Almanac
Congressional Leadership
and Committees

House Committees
Senate Committees
Joint Committees
Leadership Roster
About Almanac
almanac cover
The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
Members: Buy the book at 25% off retail.
Order Now
Need Help?

Contact Us:

202.266.7900 | membership@nationaljournal.com