Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gay and very rich, Jared Polis wins historic victory in Colorado Democratic Primary

Multi-millionaire, Jared Polis reportedly spent over 6 million dollars of his own money in what became the most expensive primary in Colorado's history.

Advocate reports: Polis won a historic victory in Tuesday's Democratic primary for Colorado's second congressional district edging out rival Joan Fitz-Gerald 42% to 38%. Based on the Democratic leanings of the district, Polis, 34, is in line to become the first openly gay man elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a nonincumbent. Polis, an Internet entrepreneur and self-made millionaire, told a crowd of cheering supporters Tuesday that although his sexual orientation had not taken center stage in the race, the victory was no less significant for LGBT people. "Growing up I always worried that that would get in the way," Polis said, according to KWGN-TV2. "I'm proud to say that many of those barriers, while some still exist, have fallen tonight."

If Jared Polis wins this November he'd become the sixth openly gay person to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Openly gay and lesbian politicians who have served in the U.S. House of Representatives include:

Rep. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat elected from Wisconsin in 1998, [who] was the first openly gay person to be elected to the U.S. House as a non-incumbent. Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, also a Democrat, announced he was gay in 1987 after having served several terms in the House. Frank is now the powerful chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. The late Gerry Studds, a Democrat of Massachusetts, came out publicly while serving in the House, as did former Congressman Steve Gunderson, a Republican from Wisconsin, and former Congressman Jim Kolbe, a Republican from Arizona.

No openly gay or lesbian person has yet been elected to the U.S. Senate.