According to projections by CNN, Democrat Jared Polis, who currently serves in the House of Representatives, will win the race for governor in Colorado, making him the first openly gay male candidate to win an election for governor.
The historic first for Polis means Democrats will retain the governor’s mansion in Colorado and the LGBT community will secure rare representation at the statewide level. During his gubernatorial bid, Polis has pushed for universal health care, free early childhood education and progressing Colorado to a 100% renewable energy state. As a freshman, Polis and his spouse Marlon Reis wrote about their experience as a same sex couple in Congress — years before same sex marriage was legalized at the federal level.
In a speech earlier this year, Polis stated that he hoped to win in order to “stick a thumb in the eye of Mike Pence, whose view of America is not as inclusive as where America is today.” Polis will replace Democrat John Hickenlooper, who was term-limited and is expected to make a run for the presidency in 2020.
Finally, this is not the first time Polis has made history: in 2008, he became the first openly gay candidate to be elected to the House of Representatives in U.S. history.