Polis defeats Stapleton to become Colorado’s next governor
Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis has apparently defeated Republican state Treasurer Walker Stapleton in the Colorado governor’s race.
Polis’ apparent victory Tuesday keeps the governor’s seat in Democratic hands. The 43-year-old Polis will succeed the term-limited John Hickenlooper to become Colorado’s first openly gay governor.
Polis is a five-term congressman and technology entrepreneur who promised to fight for universal health care, renewable energy standards, and publicly funded preschool and kindergarten. He vowed to stand up to President Donald Trump’s efforts to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s health care law.
At 8:25 p.m., Polis was leading 51 percent to 46 percent, with an estimated 62 percent of the vote counted.
In Moffat County polling, however, Stapleton was leading as of 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, claiming 3,177 votes among Moffat County voters to Polis’ 729, with about 60 percent of the Moffat County vote still to be counted.
Final results for the county had Polis at 944, with 4,219 for Stapleton.
Stapleton is a two-term state treasurer who campaigned on defending Colorado’s constitutional restrictions on taxing and spending. The 44-year-old Stapleton insisted Polis’ ideas for funding K-12 education, roads and energy would bankrupt the state.
Colorado has not had a Republican governor since 2007.
The Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters will move to Grand Junction.