Nov 11th, 2018, 11:48 PM

Colorado Elects New Governor Jared Polis

By Joan Jessiman
Image Credit: Jeffrey Beall/Flickr
Colorado makes headlines as nation elects first openly gay governor.

This past Tuesday Jared Polis was elected Colorado's new governor, defeating Republican nominee Walker Stapleton. After serving two terms Governor John HIckenlooper will step down for Governor-elect Polis, who made nationwide headlines not only due to his win but also that he is the first openly gay man elected governor in our nation. This vote secures the democratic party holding the governor mansion in Denver, and also secures representation for the LGBTQ community at the state level.

Capital Hill, Denver Colorado Image Credit: Wikimedia/Hustvedt

Jared Polis who has served in the house since 2009, celebrates his win with his partner Marlon Reis and their two children Cora and Caspian. The family “will move into the governor's mansion, making them the first same-sex First Family," according to Vox News. During Polis victory speech he stated, “Tonight, right here in Colorado, we proved that we’re an inclusive state that values every contribution, regardless of someone's sexual orientation or gender identity. “ To watch Polis's full victory speech click here.  Through Polis's race and up to his election he had support not only from the Democratic party and Colorado but also from the nation.

Polis’s victory was the most high-profile of the many victories for LGBTQ rights. Chris Pappas, a democrat from New Hampshire, was elected as the first openly gay congressman as well, alongside Sharice Davids who became not only the first LGBTQ congresswoman from Kansas, but the first Native American woman elected to congress too. For democrats and the LGBTQ community, Polis’s position in office comes with high hopes for what may come in Colorado's future. 

The Denver Post commented on Polis’ recent win, saying, “We went from a state where our elected officials struggled to provide even basic rights to same-sex couples to a state where a gay man ran for governor and his sexual orientation wasn’t discussed as a political liability. Faith in humanity should be temporarily restored.”

Polis’s early political career began when he was elected as a member of the Colorado State Board of Education in 2000. He soon became more involved with government working on amendments and campaigns in Colorado. For example he donated millions and co-chaired a campaign to improve schools in Boulder. He worked closely with government official as well as with previous governor John Hickenlooper on the project.

Polis, who has been openly gay his entire political career, pays close focus to the LGBTQ community and the importance of equal rights. His legislation and work focuses on education, foreign policy, civil liberties and LGBTQ rights. Some legislation introduced in the 114th congress were the Earnings Contingent Education Loans Act, the Limiting Unsafe Cannabis Impaired Driving Act, and the student non-discrimination act, as well as many others. To see all of Polis’s legislation click here.