Politics

Polis Makes Another Bit of History With Governor Win

Colorado congressman becomes first elected openly gay chief executive of a state

Rep. Jared Polis has only been able to ski once since coming to Congress. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file)

Democratic Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado made history Tuesday when he was elected the nation’s first openly gay governor.

The five-term congressman announced in June 11 2017 that he would be retiring from the House to run for governor. He beat Republican Walker Stapelton to replace term-limited Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The win is another milestone in the 43-year-old Polis’ barrier-breaking career. He was the first openly gay man elected to Congress as a non-incumbent.

When he and his partner, Marlon Reis, welcomed their first son in 2011, he became the first openly gay parent in Congress. The couple now has two children.

Celebrities showered him with support for his historic win.

Colorado’s 2nd District, which Polis represents and Democrat Joe Neguse won,  includes the progressive city of Boulder. But Polis has taken positions other than liberal ones.

In Congress, he is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which includes the most liberal House Democrats, but is also part of the business-oriented New Democrat Coalition, and is an honorary co-chairman of the centrist public policy think tank Third Way.

Before coming to Congress, he was a Internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist — he co-founded BlueMountain.com and ProFlowers.com as well as a chain of movie theaters catering to Spanish-speaking audiences.

He consistently ranks one of the wealthiest members of Congress.

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