Prominent Democrats pick… Michael Bennet for Senate

If Democratic Senator Michael Bennet knows anything, it’s that getting women to the polls could be the key to victory next week against Republican challenger Ken Buck.

Monday, his campaign organized a group of women to vote early. While there weren’t any surprises in the group (no prominent Republicans, for instance), the group was nonetheless noteworthy.

Included were CU Regent candidate Melissa Hart, Colorado First Lady Jeannie Ritter, State Treasurer Cary Kennedy, Lt. Governor Barbara O’Brien, Bennet spouse, attorney Susan Daggett, former First Lady Dottie Lamm, and former State Senator Polly Baca.

Having coffee at Snooze before voting Monday, from left to right: Dottie Lamm, Susan Daggett, Barbara O'Brien, Cary Kennedy, Polly Baca, Melissa Hart, and Jeannie Ritter standing to right. Photo by Scot Kersgaard

The group met for coffee with campaign staffers at Snooze, 7th and Colorado in Denver, then walked next door to Christ Center Methodist Church to cast their votes.

“These mid term elections are just as important as presidential elections. A lot of people don’t understand that,” said Lamm.

“Michael Bennet is already there (the U.S. Senate) and knows his way around, but he has not been there long enough to become jaded. He hasn’t been tainted by Washington or by special interests. He is a very diplomatic statesmanlike individual,” she said.

Lamm said she voted for Bennet because of his work on education and because she thinks he is openminded on issues.

“It is the whole package I’m voting for. Michael Bennet is very strong on education. He is very openminded. He talks to people on all sides of issues and thinks about situations from a variety of angles before he makes up his mind. He won’t please everybody but he really tries to understand all sides of an issue before making up his mind.

“He really moved Denver Public Schools along while he was superintendent. I’ve got grandkids in DPS and I think that is just the kind of background we need in the Senate,” she said.

Current First Lady Jeannie Ritter cited the same qualities when talking about Bennet.

“What I like about Michael Bennet is that he is curious about the world. That curiosity drives him to obtain lots of information and hear from lots of viewpoints on issues, and I like that.

“He doesn’t come from a stance of already knowing everything. He’s open to new information and new ways of seeing the world and the issues of the day, and that resonates with women,” Ritter said.

Bennet’s wife, Susan Daggett, a noted environmental attorney in her own right, said the race–once thought to be comfortably in hand for Buck–is coming down to the wire because voters are finally paying attention.

Susan Daggett emerges from voting booth. Photo by Scot Kersgaard

“The race is tightening because people are finally paying attention to it and are looking at the candidates’ records and making a decision. It’s going to be close,” she said.

“People are moving toward Michael because of his experience in problem solving. He does not have the track record of a partisan politician. His is the record of someone who has restructured borken businesses.

“It is really important that Colorado have someone in Washington with that kind of experience, someone who has proven he can solve problems,” Daggett said.

“There is a real difference between the candidates on their approach to education, health care, and the reproductive health choices of women. Michael has a track record in support of women and children,” she said.

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Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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