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August 18, 2008

Openly Gay Primary Winner Likely To Go To Congress

Jared Polis, a 33-year-old openly gay entrepreneur from Boulder, Colorado, who won last Tuesday's Democratic primary will very likely be elected in November.

According to Scott Adler, an associate professor of political science at the University of Colorado, “The Republicans don’t have a real shot at this one, and they know it. They would be wasting a lot of money putting dollars into this race.”

There have been five other gay and lesbian members of Congress, including current Representatives Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin who are both Democrats. If elected, Jared would become the third current openly gay or lesbian member of Congress. Ms. Baldwin and Mr. Polis would be the only two who went public with their sexuality before they were elected.

According to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund (a group that supports gay candidates for public office), Mr. Polis would be the first openly gay man elected to Congress as a nonincumbent. He would be filling Democrat Mark Udall's seat who is now running for the Senate.

“I think this sends a signal to young gays and lesbians across the country that they can consider a career in public service and they shouldn’t be scared away from that merely because of their sexual orientation,” said Mr. Polis, who introduced his partner, Marlon Reis, at Tuesday night's victory party.

Source for this story: New York Times