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Yes, He's Running for President—if Surgery Goes Well

Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado has two big announcements
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2019 1:08 PM CDT
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., leaves the chamber after an emotional speech on the Senate floor over the partial government shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – Sen. Michael Bennet has been expected to join the ever-growing 2020 presidential field, but the Colorado Democrat got some bad news that's delaying a final answer on that. He has prostate cancer. He'll be getting surgery to remove his prostate gland, the same surgery John Kerry survived in 2003, coming back on the campaign trail cancer-free to win the Democratic nomination for president in 2004. His doctors tell him the risk is low, and in a statement on Twitter, he says that thanks to early detection, his prognosis is good. So, he tells the Colorado Independent, he still plans to run for president—as long as he's cancer-free. The surgery is scheduled soon after Congress begins its spring recess April 11.

"The idea was to announce [a presidential run] sometime in April," Bennet says. "That was the plan. We hired some staff. We interviewed people for positions in New Hampshire and Iowa. And then I went for the physical. In my last physical, my PSA was high. They did a biopsy, and it was clear. But this time, it was not clear." After much thought, the 54-year-old found that he still wanted to run if he could. As for his reasons for running, he says no one else in the Democratic field is talking about dysfunction in Congress: "I am shocked every day" by how little Congress gets done, he says. He's also passionate about health care reform: "The idea that the richest county in the world hasn’t figured out how to have universal health care is beyond embarrassing. It’s devastating." (Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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