New Members 2010 - Colorado

Senate

House 03

House 04

SEN. MICHAEL BENNET (D-COLO.)

Date of birth: Nov. 28, 1964
Birthplace: New Delhi, India
Residence: Denver
Occupation: Attorney
Education: B.A., Wesleyan University; J.D., Yale University
Previous office held: Superintendent of Denver Public Schools
Family: Wife, Susan; three children

Michael Bennet was born in India while his father served as an aide to the U.S. ambassador there. He grew up in Washington, D.C., where his father served as an aide to Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
During his time in Washington he served as a page on Capitol Hill and then in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration. Bennet then ended up in Denver, where he was managing director for the Anschutz Investment Co. He later served as chief of staff to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.
Bennet was appointed superintendent of Denver Public Schools in 2005 and was one of the names mentioned for Education secretary after President Obama took office.
On Jan. 3, 2009, he was appointed to Sen. Ken Salazar’s (D-Colo.) seat, after Salazar became Interior secretary, and went on to win a tough race to fill out the remainder of Salazar’s term.


REP.-ELECT SCOTT TIPTON (R-COLO.-03)

Date of birth: Nov. 17, 1950
Birthplace: Cortez, Colo.
Residence: Cortez, Colo.
Occupation: State representative, Colorado House; small-business owner
Education: B.S., Ft. Lewis College
Previous office held: State representative
Family: Wife Jean, two children

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Scott Tipton ran against incumbent John Salazar, a centrist Democrat, in 2008, winning only 37 percent of the vote to Salazar’s 62 percent. That he won the seat this year is a testament to the strength of anti-incumbent sentiment in western Colorado, as well as his ability to capitalize on unpopular votes made by Salazar — for the stimulus bill and the healthcare overhaul — and his commitment to fiscal conservatism. Tipton made his political debut in 1976 as a delegate to the GOP convention and went on to run local efforts for former President Reagan in 1980 and 1984. Tipton, who co-founded an Indian pottery business with his brother after college, was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2008.


REP.-ELECT CORY GARDNER (R-COLO.-04)

Date of birth: Aug. 22, 1974
Birthplace: Yuma, Colo.
Residence: Yuma, Colo.
Occupation: Attorney
Education: B.S., Colorado State University; J.D., University Of Colorado
Previous office held: State Representative
Family: Wife, Jaime; one child


Cory Gardner defeated Rep. Betsy Markey (D) after hammering the freshman Democrat for her votes in favor of healthcare reform and cap-and-trade energy legislation. Representing a district that supported Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008, Markey had been a top GOP target for months, with Republican operatives saying her vote for healthcare sealed her fate as a doomed Democrat. 

Gardner grew up in Yuma and worked for his family’s farm-equipment dealership. A former aide to GOP Sen. Wayne Allard (Colo.), he won a seat in the State Legislature in 2005 and built a fiscally and socially conservative record. He withstood attacks from Markey, who called him a “career politician” and accused him of misstating his record opposing tax increases. Gardner played up his support for rural and agricultural interests, along with his support for gun rights and opposition to the labor-backed Employee Free Choice Act.