News & Election Videos

August 12, 2008

Polis defeats Fitz-Gerald

Internet entrepreneur Jared Polis has defeated Colorado state Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald in Colorado’s 2nd District Democratic primary, spending over $5 million of his own money to emerge as the likely successor to Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.)

The Rocky Mountain News is reporting that Polis has declared victory after receiving a concession call from Fitz-Gerald. With over 35,000 votes counted, Polis leads Fitz-Gerald 43 percent to 39 percent.

Fitz-Gerald began the race as the favorite, winning support from most Democratic elected officials, labor unions and leading women’s groups like EMILY’s List. But Polis, who spent much of his fortune to help Democrats take back the state legislature in 2004, was similarly successful in advancing his own political career. 

Fitz-Gerald’s defeat is a major blow for EMILY’s List, which had touted her as one of its leading candidates this election cycle. The group sent out at least seven mailers on Fitz-Gerald’s behalf during the campaign.

If he wins the general election, Polis would be the first openly gay congressman from Colorado.

The primary winner in this Boulder-area district is almost assured of serving in Congress, given the district’s Democratic tilt.

UPDATE: With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Polis won 42 percent of the vote to Fitz-Gerald's 38 percent. Environmental activist Will Shafroth finished with 20 percent.