DENVER — Michael Bennet LAW ’93, the superintendent of Denver Public Schools, will be named to fill the United States Senate seat being vacated by Ken Salazar, currently up for confirmation as Secretary of the Interior, newspapers here reported on Friday.
Colorado Governor Bill Ritter plans to announce Bennet as Salazar’s replacement on Saturday, sources told the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post. Bennet will become the eighth Yale graduate in the Senate, joining Joseph Lieberman ’64 LAW ’67, John Kerry ’66 and Arlen Specter LAW ’56, among others.
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Bennet was selected from a pool of candidates including Salazar’s brother, Rep. John Salazar, and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, according to the reports. Last month, Bennet was among those considered by the Obama administration for the position of Secretary of Education.
Bennet, who has never run for public office, served as counsel to the deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration. In addition, he was chief of staff to Hickenlooper for two years until being appointed superintendent of Denver Public Schools in 2005. Although high dropout and low graduation rates still plague the district, Bennet’s tenure as superintendent here has been marked by noticeable gains in student achievement.
Bennet graduated with honors from Wesleyan University, where his father later served as president. At Yale, he was editor in chief of the Yale Law Journal. His wife, Susan Daggett LAW ’91, is also an Eli, as is his brother, James Bennet ’88, the editor of The Atlantic magazine.