In addition to Bill Murphy ’60, two other Wesleyan alumni also joined the race for president in 2019, each running campaigns to be the Democratic party’s nominee: Sen. Michael Bennet ’87, Hon. ’12, (D-Colo.), and John Hickenlooper ’74, MA ’80, Hon. ’10.
Hickenlooper, a former mayor of Denver, was elected governor of Colorado in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. After withdrawing from the presidential race in 2019, he declared his candidacy for the United States Senate and won the Democratic nomination in June. He will challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in November.
Bennet, who has represented Colorado in the U.S. Senate since 2009, had previously served as superintendent of Denver Public Schools. Prior to that, he was chief of staff to then-Denver Mayor Hickenlooper.
Forging a path in politics might seem daunting, but it comes down to simple passion and engagement, said Bennet.
“Whenever young people ask me [how to get involved], I tell them two things: First, find a topic you’re passionate about and learn everything you can about it. Then, find experiences outside of politics that will develop your skillset to address that issue in your community. My work in law, business, and education before I ever went into politics is what equipped me to understand and respond to the needs of my constituents,” Bennet said.