When he was appointed to fill the seat in January 2009, Michael Bennett was a relative nobody in the political word. He was the Denver School Superintendent when then-Governor Bill Ritter picked him to fill the seat vacated due to Obama picking Ken Salazar to be the Secretary of the Interior.
People scratched their heads about Bennett being tapped but forgot that he has had small bureaucratic involvements with the Carter and Bill Clinton administrations. His grandfather was an economic advisor to Franklin Roosevelt.
Bennett survived a hotly contested 2010 election against Tea Party upstart Ken Buck that many political observers thought that Bennett was going to lose.
It is now 2016, and it was widely believed that Bennett was going to have to fight hard for his re-election bid. Instead it has been almost a non-event. Bennett has run a couple of ads while his opponent has barely any ad time in part due to the NRSC decided to spend money elsewhere in defending seats or trying to flip Nevada.
Darryl Glenn has a remarkable story too. He is an Air Force Academy graduate and retired from the service as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2009. He served on the Colorado Springs City council and is currently in his second term as Colorado Springs County Commissioner.
Glenn vaulted to the top of the state Republican Party after a crowd pleasing speech at their convention in April. In the June 2016 primary, Glenn only received 37.7% of the vote in a five-person field that almost mirrored the national Republican nomination in terms of lack of quality candidates.
Unfortunately, Glenn has aligned himself with Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin and is a liability. That might play well among hard core Republicans but it does exactly align with the increasing moderation that Colorado politics are experiencing. As for supporting his party’s standard bearer, Glenn eventually came around to say he’ll vote for Trump after the release of the Access Hollywood tape but did not endorse him.
If you do vote for someone, it means you do endorse someone.
Trump has made several stops in Colorado, but the Republican nominee has not moved the state in his favor. The most recent Talking Points Memo poll average for Colorado has Clinton up 4.7 points with Trump polling in the low 40s. Most political prognostication sites have moved Colorado from Toss-up at the start of the campaign season to Likely Clinton as is the case with Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball. FiveThirtyEight’s polls-only forecasts gives Trump a 15.9% chance of winning the state’s crucial 9 electoral votes.
I am not going to agree with Bennett on everything (he did vote for the Keystone XL pipeline in 2015); that’s the consequence of belonging to the big tent party. However, he is a consensus building operator for working on Immigration Reform, reforming No Child Left Behind, finding a solution to the funding of constructing the Veterans Hospital in Aurora, and a supporter of LGBT Rights. He doesn’t make national headlines for being flamboyant like Ted Cruz. He goes to the Senate to try to do what is best for Colorado and its diverse population.
Bennett is making the most of his time in the Senate, and I say to Colorado that we give him another 6 years.
I endorse and will VOTE for Michael Bennett.