Democratic Rep. Jared Polis was declared the winner of the Colorado gubernatorial race Tuesday after spending $22 million of his own fortune to defeat Republican state treasurer Walker Stapleton.
With 68 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Polis had 51 percent of the vote, while Mr. Stapleton trailed with 45 percent. Libertarian candidate Scott Helker registered 2 percent.
The five-term congressman from Boulder will succeed Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is term-limited, in the blue-trending state.
Mr. Polis also becomes the first openly gay man to be elected governor in the nation. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, has identified herself as bisexual.
— Colorado Dems (@coloradodems) November 7, 2018
Mr. Polis, an internet entrepreneur with an estimated net worth of $400 million, ran as a savvy businessman able to make government more efficient, overcoming skepticism about whether his progressive policies would translate to voters statewide.
His platform included support for programs such as universal health care, full-day preschool and kindergarten, and 100 percent renewable energy by 2040.
Mr. Stapleton, a member of the Republican Bush family, sunk $1.3 million of his own money into his bid for the state’s top office, but was outspent by the Polis campaign by nearly 6 to 1, according to VoteSmart.
Mr. Polis was one of the “Gang of Four” Democratic megadonors who sunk millions into electing Democrats and flipping the state legislature starting in 2004.