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Colorado’s Bennet among richest in Congress

Michael Riley
The Denver Post
AP Photo/David ZalubowskiSen. Michael Bennet left, drives a Mercedes-Benz A-Class propelled by a hydrogen fuel cell as Keith Wipke, a senior engineer in hydrogen technologies looks on, during the lawmaker's visit to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden
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WASHINGTON ” Sen. Michael Bennet is worth between $6 million and $27 million, making him the second- or third-richest Colorado lawmaker and the 15th wealthiest person in the Senate, according to a financial disclosure statement.

The statement is the first detailed look at his finances since Bennet, a Denver Democrat, was appointed to the Senate in January, and put his net worth in line with Rep. Betsy Markey, a Democrat from Fort Collins, and well-behind dot-com millionaire Jared Polis, a Boulder Democrat.

Bennet made most of his money as a former executive for Anschutz Investment Co., where he oversaw the restructuring of three ailing cinema chains into Regal Entertainment Group, one of the world’s largest movie-theater companies.



He still holds between $500,000 and $1 million in Regal stock but has shifted most of his assets into Treasury cash reserves, which he valued at between $5 million and $25 million.

Though the Senate has no shortage of millionaires ” Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is worth as much as $388 million, for example ” Bennet’s average holdings still place him in that group’s top tier.

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A spokeswoman for Bennet said his net worth is closer to the bottom than to the top of the range he reported.

Freshman Polis, who’s worth between $97 million and $254 million, enjoys an even higher ranking among House members, at No. 3, according to a comparison by Opensecrets.org .

Lawmakers are required to file new financial disclosures based on 2008 data later this week, but Bennet filed his early, a month after he was appointed to fill the seat of Ken Salazar, now a member of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet.



Based on last year’s data, Colorado’s lawmakers run the gamut when it comes to their personal finances. Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Springs Republican, is worth between $16,000 and $65,000.

The nine-person delegation has as many as six millionaires, if their incomes fall near the upper end of the reporting range of the disclosures: Bennet; Polis; Markey; Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat from Eldorado Springs; Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Golden Democrat; and Rep. John Salazar, a Manassa Democrat.

Markey, a former businesswoman who co-founded the software company Syscom Services Inc., is worth between $5.2 million and $26 million, according to last year’s filing.


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