Sen. Michael Bennet revealed Wednesday evening that he has prostate cancer, but still hopes to run for president.
In a statement, the Democrat from Colorado said that he was diagnosed last month and will undergo surgery during April recess.
"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," Bennet said.
Bennet expanded on his statement in an interview with the Colorado Independent. He said that he initially intended to announce his candidacy in April and had hired staff. But then he saw his doctor.
“We interviewed people for positions in New Hampshire and Iowa,” Bennet said. “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.”
He told the Colorado Independent that he expects to take between seven to 10 days to recover from surgery and that he hopes to be "cancer-free and able to move on."
"If I’m not cancer-free, then I’d have to make another decision," he said.
Bennet is not the only senator to be treated for prostate cancer recently. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine.) posted last month on Instagram that he’d completed radiation treatment after a residual recurrence from prostate surgery.
Should Bennet’s health improve and he be able to enter the 2020 race, he would be the seventh senator to launch a bid for the White House. Bennet has recently taken to the Senate floor to deliver passionate speeches, blasting his Republican colleagues. On Wednesday, prior to the Senate rules change to speed up the process for confirming President Donald Trump’s nominees, Bennet said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell led “the most famous blockade that’s ever happened in the Senate” by denying Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a hearing in 2016.
“It was shameful,” Bennet said.
Bennet also drew attention earlier this year when he got into a floor fight with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in which he accused the Texas senator of crying “crocodile tears” over members of the Coast Guard not getting compensated during the government shutdown. The exchange became the most viewed C-SPAN video of all time on Twitter.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine