U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet is recovering from successful surgery for prostate cancer, his staff says, paving the way for a planned 2020 presidential campaign.
The Colorado Democrat’s office said Friday that Bennet underwent surgery last weekend and is recovering at home. His doctors termed the procedure “completely successful” and say he won’t require further treatment, aides added.
“Michael and his family deeply appreciate the well wishes and support from Coloradans and others across the country, and he looks forward to returning to work after the recess,” Bennet spokeswoman Courtney Gidner said in a statement.
Bennet — who has been visiting early primary and caucus states ahead of an anticipated White House run — said this month that he had been diagnosed in late March with prostate cancer.
“While hearing news like this is never easy, I am fortunate it was detected early, and as a result, my prognosis is good,” he said at the time.
The 54-year-old senator and his aides said this month that he would enter the presidential race if he was found to be cancer-free after surgery and a period of recovery.
Bennet has a “clean bill of health” and intends to launch his campaign once he’s fully recovered and physically up to it, said Craig Hughes, his top political consultant, on Friday.
“Not too long,” Hughes wrote in an email.
Appointed to the Senate in 2009 and twice elected to the seat, in 2010 and 2016, Bennet has said believes there’s room for a candidate with his experience in business and as a schools superintendent in the burgeoning Democratic presidential primary field.
“The work we have in front of us to restore a politics that is worthy of our kids and grandkids has never been more important,” Bennet said in his April 3 statement announcing his cancer diagnosis.
“This unanticipated hurdle only reinforces how strongly I feel about contributing to the larger conversation about the future of our country, and I am even more committed to drive that conversation in a positive direction.”
The typically soft-spoken Bennet drew attention in January during the partial government shutdown when a video of his remarks on the Senate floor attacking Texas Sen. Ted Cruz went viral, drawing millions of views online and sparking calls for a 2020 run.
He’ll be the second Colorado Democrat in the race, joining former Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Bennet got his start in Colorado politics working on Hickenlooper’s first campaign for Denver mayor in 2003 and served as his chief of staff before being named superintendent of Denver Public Schools.