Sunday, September 22, 2019 -
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Historic win: Polis will be Colorado’s first Jewish governor

Jared Polis, pictured in the IJN offices. (Tim McClanahan)

Jared Polis, pictured in the IJN offices. (Tim McClanahan)

Colorado Democratic Congressman Jared Polis beat Republican State Treasurer Walker Stapleton on Nov. 6 to become Colorado’s 43rd governor, and its first Jewish governor.

Other Jews, all Democrats, won high offices in Colorado in the election.

Polis, who currently represents District 2 in the US House of Representatives, ran on a progressive platform pledging universal health care and 100% renewable energy by 2040.

Polis is Congress’ third wealthiest member and the wealthiest Democrat, according to Forbes. He sunk over $20 million of his own funds into his gubernatorial campaign, according to CPR.

Polis made his fortune buying and selling internet companies in the original dot com boom of the 1990s.

In 2000, Polis was elected to the Colorado State Board of Education and in 2008 was elected to Congress, where he will serve until his inauguration next January.

He will be succeeded by Joe Neguse, a Democrat.

Polis lives in Boulder with partner Marlon Reis and their two children.

In 2015, just ahead of Congress’ vote on the Iran Deal, Polis sat down for a lengthy interview with the Intermountain Jewish News.

On Iranian compliance, Polis said: “That’s why this inspection piece is so critical.

“This is not the type of agreement that you sign and say, wonderful, Iran will follow. You assume that there are people of ill will there and you want to make sure you have a monitoring and compliance system in place.”

In an op-ed at the time for the IJN, Polis called for Iran to be “held to a standard of dismantlement of its nuclear infrastructure that prevents any pathway to acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

Other Colorado races won by Jewish candidates were Phil Weiser (Democrat), attorney general, who defeated George Brauchler; Emily Sirota (Democrat), who was elected to represent Colorado House District 9; and incumbents Dafna Michaelson Jenet (District 30) and Jonathan Singer (District 11), both of whom are also Democrats.

In a 2016 interview with the IJN, Weiser, dean of CU Boulder’s law school, said that he uses the Talmud for both personal and professional guidance.

“It is really interesting to be in a leadership situation that calls on you to exercise great empathy to understand the truth from all these perspectives,” a quality, he said, that he learned in part from Torah and Talmud study.

Copyright © 2018 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Shana Goldberg

IJN Assistant Publisher |

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