Colorado Senator Michael Bennet may not have the highest poll numbers of all the Democratic candidates running for president, but he does have one of the biggest personal fortunes, worth an estimated $15 million.
That’s enough to make him the third-richest Democrat running in 2020, behind only entrepreneurs Tom Steyer ($1.6 billion) and John Delaney ($200 million). Bennet and his wife, Susan Daggett, share a diverse portfolio that includes commercial real estate in Denver, stakes in hedge funds and personal real estate in two cities. Much of the money appears to stem from his time in the private sector, working for Republican megadonor Philip Anschutz.
Bennet, 54, was born in New Delhi, India, the son of a Mayflowerdescendant and a Holocaust survivor. His father—the Mayflowerdescendant—was serving as an assistant to the U.S. ambassador to India in the early 1960s. Eventually the Bennet family moved to the Washington, D.C., where Bennet spent most of his childhood. He went to Wesleyan University for undergrad and Yale for law school, before joining the law firm now known as WilmerHale. In 1995, Bennet took a job as counsel to the deputy attorney general Jamie Gorelick at the Department of Justice during the Clinton administration.
Two years later, Bennet married Daggett, an environmental lawyer, and decided to leave Washington for a new city, settling on Denver. “We knew no one there, and it felt wide open,” Bennet wrote in his 2019 book The Land of Flickering Lights: Restoring America in an Age of Broken Politics. It was in Colorado that Bennet teamed up with Anschutz, a conservative billionaire who built his fortune on oil and railroads. “I think he liked the idea of having someone from a Democratic administration—it upset preconceived notions of his politics,” Bennet wrote in his book.