With 80% of precincts reporting in Colorado, Rep. Jared Polis won the Democratic Primary well ahead of rivals Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, former state Sen. Michael Johnston and former state treasurer Cary Kennedy with 45% of the vote. Kennedy, believed his strongest competitor with considerable grassroots support, only pulled in 25% of the vote.
Polis, who has spent five terms in the House and is well known to Southern California politicos, spent $11 million of his own money, which is visible on his active campaign site, where he not only tells voters his stand on issues but proudly declares: “My partner Marlon and I are raising our two kids, ages six and three, to be proud Coloradans like their parents and grandparents!”
If Polis, a strong progressive, wins in November, he will become the first openly gay elected governor in US history—New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey came out and resigned in a 2004 news conference. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is America’s first openly bisexual governor and first openly LGBT person sworn in as governor. Polis’ partner and kids will join him in the governor’s mansion.
“I think it really gives Colorado an opportunity to stick a thumb in the eye of Mike Pence, whose view of America is not as inclusive as where America is today,” Polis told Colorado Democrats during a recent speech.
Polis will face anti-LGBT Republican Trump supporter Walker Stapleton.
“Tonight Jared Polis pulled off what no other openly gay man has – becoming the gubernatorial nominee of a major American political party,” said former Houston Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. “While it is a historic and promising night for the LGBTQ community, primary voters chose Jared not because he could be a historic first, but because of his unquestionable integrity and positive vision for Coloradans. Voters will have a stark choice in November – between a long-time public servant who governs with values, and the Republican nominee who stands behind the divisive rhetoric and destructive policies of Donald Trump. I am confident Coloradans stand with Jared.”