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Colorado Sen. Bennet enters presidential race after prostate cancer treatment

Michael Bennet,michael bennet
U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, D-Colo., greets voters before U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally with young voters on the campus of the University of Colorado on Oct. 24, 2018, in Boulder, Colorado. -
David Zalubowski AP file
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Less than a month after he revealed he'd been diagnosed with prostate cancer, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet on Thursday announced he is running for president.

"My plan is to run for president, and I appreciate your letting me come here to announce that," Bennet, 54, said on CBS "This Morning."

In March, Bennet had told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that he was "very inclined" to throw his hat in the ring, and planned to focus on income inequality and healthcare.

"The American people need somebody who is going to run and tell them the truth in 2020. We can't get anything done around here if we continue to do what we've been doing here for the last 10 years," he said then.

Bennet does not support the Medicare for All legislation that is backed by many of his Democratic opponents, and is instead advocating "Medicare-X," which he says would provide Americans a "public option" offering low-cost insurance choices.

He'd initially been expected to announce that he was jumping into the race last month, but those plans were temporarily delayed when he revealed he'd been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

"While hearing news like this is never easy, I am fortunate it was detected early, and as a result, my prognosis is good," he said then.

He underwent surgery in mid-April and a spokesperson said it "was completely successful." He "requires no further treatment," the spokesperson told Politico.

Bennet was appointed to his Senate seat in 2009, after Ken Salazar resigned to become Barack Obama's Secretary of the Interior. He's since held onto the seat in two elections.

The low-key Bennet is probably best-known for his rant on the Senate floor against Sen. Ted Cruz, where he accused the Texas Republican of crying "crocodile tears" during the government shutdown in January. A clip of Bennet's tirade is the most viewed Senate floor speech in C-SPAN's history with nearly 14 million views.

Bennet was born in India, where his father was working as a diplomat, and raised in Washington D.C.

A Yale Law School graduate, Bennet has experience working in both the private and public sectors. He's the former managing director of a holding company called Anschultz Investment Company, and worked as an aide in the Ohio governor's office.

In Colorado, he worked as chief of staff for then-Denver mayor — and current presidential candidate — John Hickenlooper. Bennet later became superintendent of Denver public schools, and was credited with helping turn around the struggling school system.

He's married to environmental lawyer Susan Daggett, and they have three daughters.