Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, a former Denver schools chief, has taken the slot on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee made vacant by the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennnedy, D-Mass.
Bennet’s move has got to be good news for Democrats who support policies such as alternative pay and charter schools (including these folks). They have high hopes that Bennet, with his real-world, on-the-ground experience, could help fill the void on education issues in the Senate created by Kennedy’s passing. Bennet, who seems particularly interested in teacher quality, is said to be one of the Obama administration’s Senate allies on K-12 policy.
Bennet, however, is likely to face a tough primary challenge from former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. Bennet has already garnered the endorsement of President Barack Obama. Still, if he makes it through the primary, he may also have an uphill general election battle. Republican contenders include former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton.