Colorado’s senior Democratic senator has said he would not be interested in serving as education secretary under a prospective Joe Biden administration, despite his background in public education.
Sen. Michael Bennet, who served as Denver’s superintendent for nearly three and a half years before seeking congressional office, told the Denver Post “No,” in response to questions about whether or not a cabinet membership was in his political future.
The Colorado senator made it clear that his political goals would be to seek re-election to the Senate in 2022.
“My plan is to run for reelection to the Senate, and that’s what I’m going to do,” Bennet told the Denver publication Monday.
Bennet, a former 2020 presidential candidate, was vetted by the Obama administration in 2009 for the education secretary position, but the job went to Arne Duncan, who was the superintendent of Chicago’s public school system.
The Denver native was instead appointed to the Senate by then-Gov. Bill Ritter after former Sen. Ken Salazar became Obama’s Secretary of the Interior in 2009.
Bennet joined the Senate’s Education Committee and worked on President Obama’s K-12 education reform that sought to fix the No Child Left Behind policy by allowing states to have more control over where achievement gaps were lacking, and address the bottom 5% of “low performing schools.”
Bennet won re-election twice–in 2010 and 2016–before announcing his presidential candidacy on “CBS This Morning” in May 2019.
His campaign was relatively short-lived, he dropped out after New Hampshire polling in February 2020.
Bennet said he would support whichever Democratic candidate would become President Trump’s challenger, ultimately endorsing Biden in April.
“Joe is a proven leader who can bring Americans together and show that our best days are still ahead. His vast experience, temperament, and decency stand in stark contrast to those of Donald Trump, especially in these challenging times,” Bennet said.
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“In the midst of a public health crisis and economic downturn, now more than ever we need an experienced leader to protect and guide our country,” he said.
Bennet could not be reached for comment to address whether or not he would actually turn down a Biden request to serve on his cabinet.