DENVER (CBS4/AP) – Security is tight for the inauguration of Gov.-elect Jared Polis Tuesday morning outside Colorado’s Capitol. The Democrat succeeds Gov. John Hickenlooper, former Denver mayor, petroleum geologist and beer pub entrepreneur who served the maximum two terms.
Polis’s overwhelming election victory and his party’s consolidation of legislative control promise ambitious changes to energy regulation, health care and state-funded early childhood education.
Polis is a wealthy tech and education entrepreneur and former five-term congressman from Boulder. He trounced then-state treasurer Walker Stapleton in November and became the nation’s first openly gay governor. That played no role in the campaign, with health care and President Donald Trump the top issues for Colorado voters.
PHOTO GALLERY: Gov. Jared Polis Inauguration
Tuesday’s inauguration is being celebrated by LGBTQ advocates nationwide.
The festivities include an evening “Blue Sneaker Ball,” named after the footwear Polis sported during his campaign with perfomances by pop singer and LGBTQ activist Cyndi Lauper and the R&B combo Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats.
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Former state Rep. Diane Primavera, a health care advocate, was being sworn in as lieutenant governor. Primavera is a four-time cancer survivor and most recently led Colorado’s Susan G. Komen Foundation chapter to battle breast cancer.
Polis, a member of a Cannabis Caucus in Congress, says he’d pursue more industry financing opportunities and add autism to medical marijuana conditions.
Polis was elected Colorado’s 43rd governor and he is 43 years old. He graduated from Princeton University and is the founder of ProFlowers and the co-founder of American Information Systems and Techstars.
He was elected to represent Colorado in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009 through 2018. He was also a Colorado State Board of Education member from 2001-2006.
Polis has two children with his partner, Marion Reis.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)