Thursday, August 14, 2008

CO-02: An historic first

Tuesday marked the primaries in Colorado and Connecticut. Mark Udall (D) represents Colorado's 2nd Congressional district, but he's giving that up to run for the Senate. It's a pretty Democratic district, so the Democratic primary is in essence the real election. And there were a trio of well-qualified candidates. It says something when the "conservative" one of the bunch was endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America. Ultimately, Jared Polis won his race with 42% of the vote, defeating former state senate president Joan Fitz-Gerald (38%) and environmentalist Will Shafroth (20%). Here he is at his primary victory party.

What would make this historic is that Polis is openly gay, and would be the first openly gay man to be elected to Congress. (Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin was the first openly gay person of either gender to be elected to Congress.) There have been others, of course, but they were not openly gay (though for some, it was an "open secret"). Of course, TIME magazine had to do a story about how Polis being gay wasn't an issue... thereby bringing it up yet again and making it an issue. :-\

And all Polis had to do was spend $5 million of his own money on the race. How'd he get so rich? Ever used an online greeting card from Yeah, that was his site. In 2004, Fortune estimated his net worth to be $160 million, good for 28th place in their list of wealthiest Americans under the age of 40.

Not to worry, he's about as progressive as they come, and will be even more progressive than Mark Udall, the man he's replacing in Congress. (See: FISA.)

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