Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) on Wednesday said he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo surgery in his home state during the upcoming Senate recess.
“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 in a statement.
The lawmaker first announced the diagnosis in an interview with the Colorado Independent, during which he also revealed he intends to launch a presidential bid if he is cancer-free post-surgery.
“The idea was to announce sometime in April,” Bennet told the Independent of his potential 2020 campaign. “That was the plan. We hired some staff. We interviewed people for positions in New Hampshire and Iowa. And then I went for the physical. In my last physical, my PSA was high. They did a biopsy, and it was clear. But this time it was not clear.”
The 54-year-old told the publication that after surgery to remove the prostate gland, “the hope is then I’ll be cancer-free and able to move on. If I’m not cancer-free, then I’d have to make another decision.”
Though Bennet is known for his mild temperament, the lawmaker has recently made headlines for being more vocal on the Senate floor. Notably, in January, his 25-minute speech slamming Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for his role in the partial government shutdown went viral.
A handful of lawmakers, including Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), tweeted out supportive and encouraging messages to Bennet.