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Jared Polis Becomes First Openly Gay Man to Be Elected Governor in U.S. History

He beat Republican Walker Stapleton.

Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis made history tonight by becoming the first openly gay man to be elected governor in the U.S., beating Republican Walker Stapleton.

Polis is a five-time congressman who previously made history as the first openly gay man to win a seat as a non-incumbent, when he was elected to Congress in 2008. He and his partner, Marlon Reis, have two children together: Son Caspian Julius and daughter Cora Barucha.

Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images

BROOMFIELD, CO - JUNE 26: Democratic candidate Jared Polis, with his son Caspian, 6, lower left, gets ready to go on stage to accept the nomination for Colorado Governor during his watch party at the Flatiron Ballroom in the Renaissance Boulder Flatiron Hotel on June 26, 2018 in Broomfield, Colorado. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Before entering politics, Polis was a successful businessman, founding companies such as online florists Proflowers.com and greeting card purveyors Bluemountain.com.

“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 said of his candidacy during a campaign speech this past summer, Vox reported.

“What these experiences have shown me, is that leadership is not about dividing people. It’s about finding ways to bring people together, around a bold vision for what we can be, an aspirational vision for Colorado’s future,” he continued.