LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Democratic Congressman Jared Polis has won the governor’s race in Colorado, US networks projected on Tuesday (Nov 7), making him the first openly gay person to be elected governor in the United States.
The five-term congressman, 43, who defeated Republican Walker Stapleton, was open about his sexual orientation during the campaign, often referring to it in his criticism of President Donald Trump.
Ms Kate Brown became the first bisexual governor when she was elected in Oregon in 2015, while another governor, Mr Jim McGreevey of New Jersey, came out as gay before resigning in 2004.
But Mr Polis is the first openly gay candidate to be elected governor.
He will succeed Democrat John Hickenlooper, who has been in office since 2011.
A self-made millionaire and tech entrepreneur, Mr Polis was admitted to Princeton at age 16 and has said that he set his sights on becoming governor when he was in college.
Mr Polis, who is Jewish, switched his name from Jared Schultz to Jared Polis at age 25 to honour his grandmother, he has said.
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