Democrat Jared Polis, the first out gay man elected governor of any U.S. state, is now the first one reelected.
NBC News and ABC News both called the Colorado governor's race for Polis about 7:30 p.m. Mountain time. At that point he had slightly more than 61 percent of the vote, Republican Heidi Ganahl about 37 percent, and three minor-party candidates less than 1 percent each. His win was largely expected -- polls had shown him with a 20-point lead over Ganahl.
Polis, first elected governor in 2018, is a former congressman and entrepreneur. He is married to Marlon Reis; their wedding in 2021 was the first same-sex wedding of a sitting U.S. governor. They had already been together for several years and are parents of two children. Polis was the first gay father in Congress.
On the campaign trail, Polis emphasized his achievements in his first term, such as implementing universal free kindergarten and signing a bill guaranteeing abortion rights.
When governors are sworn in, the U.S. will also have its first out lesbian governor, Democrat Maura Healey, who easily won her race in Massachusetts. Tina Kotek of Oregon could share that distinction with her, but that race won't be called for hours. Kotek, a Democrat, would succeed the nation's first out bisexual governor, fellow Dem Kate Brown, who could not run again due to term limits.
Colorado has reelected U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet as well. Bennet is a pro-LGBTQ+ Democrat who was challenged by moderate Republican Joe O'Dea.