Health care moves to center stage in Democratic primary fight
Colorado’s Michael Bennet considering 2020 White House run: report
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) is considering a 2020 presidential bid, three people close to him confirmed to Colorado Public Radio, widening an already large net for potential Democratic candidates for president.
"What he said to me is he is seriously thinking about running," said one individual. "He has not made up his mind yet, but he is seriously thinking about running."
Bennet's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
Bennet first made headlines when The Associated Press reported that he was in contact with Democrats in Iowa, which holds the first presidential caucuses of the 2020 primary cycle.
Bennet, a soft-spoken moderate with a lower profile than other senators, could benefit from several high caliber Democrats dividing the vote in what is expected to be a crowded primary for the party.
The Coloradan could potentially face off against wide field of prominent Democrats including former Vice President Joe Biden, Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
There is also a chance that Bennet would be facing off with fellow Coloradan John Hickenlooper, the state's governor, who was term-limited from running again in the Centennial State. Hickenlooper has also made presidential headlines by founding his own political action committee and visiting Iowa and New Hampshire. He's said he would make a final decision in January on whether to run.
A source told CPR that Bennet spoke to Hickenlooper within the last few months about a run for president. The two are known to be close after Bennet served as Hickenlooper's chief of staff when he was mayor of Denver.
"Bennet is a U.S. senator focused on finance, education and foreign policy," one insider told CPR. "Hickenlooper is a centrist, midwestern mayor and governor who worked in a bipartisan way to get things done. I think they have different cases to make to the public. They just happen to be friends and allies."
Bennet's state could also help him in a primary race. Colorado is still considered by some to be a swing state, though it has been trending blue in recent years. It voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over President Trump by about 3 points in 2016, but voted for Bennet by about 6 points.