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Rep. Leslie Herod endorsing Jared Polis for governor

Author: Joey Bunch - October 17, 2017 - Updated: October 17, 2017

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State Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, speaks nearly a year before she won election to her legislative seat at a rally on the west steps of the Capitol on Dec. 1, 2015. On March 11, 2017, Colorado Demcorats plan to name Herod the party's 2017 Rising Star at the Democrats' 84th Annual Dinner. (Photo by Ernest Luning/The Colorado Statesman)State Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver, speaks nearly a year before she won election to her legislative seat at a rally on the west steps of the Capitol on Dec. 1, 2015. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics file photo)

An endorsement from a freshman legislator isn’t usually news, but not many freshmen are Rep. Leslie Herod, who’s backing Jared Polis for governor next year.

The Democrat from Denver published a blog on the Huffington Post Tuesday with the subhead, “Colorado can make history by electing a gay governor. He’s also the best person for the job.”

“In spite of the endless chatter about the role of ‘identity politics’ in the Democratic Party, we don’t need to choose between leaders who will champion social justice and those who will champion economic opportunity,” she told Colorado Politics. “Polis will champion both.”

Herod was elected to the legislature by the widest majority of any statehouse candidate with opposition a year ago. She also was one of the original members of New Era Colorado at the University of Colorado, which has generated some of the state’s top young Democrats, including Joe Neguse, who is running to replace Polis in the 2nd Congressional District.

She also had one of the most productive sessions of any legislator this year, commonly co-sponsoring bills with Republicans.

Last March, when the state party honored Polis as Democrat of the Year, Herod was named its 2017 Rising Star at the party’s annual dinner.

She wrote for the Huffington Post:

Polis was the first openly gay candidate ever elected to Congress and was also the first gay parent ever to serve there. The Obama years were filled with historic victories for the LGBTQ community, and Polis played a part in virtually all of them. His career has been defined by taking bold ideas that once seemed unthinkable and making them a reality.

For example, Polis was instrumental in the passage of the first-ever inclusive hate crimes law. He was one of a handful of lawmakers who shepherded into law the legislation to get rid of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. He was a driving force behind the Obama administration’s decision to implement comprehensive guidance on the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming students at school. (Sadly, Betsy DeVos and Jeff Sessions quickly reversed this guidance.)

Contacted by Colorado Politics about Herod’s backing, Polis, not surprisingly, was pleased.

“I’m so honored to earn Leslie’s endorsement,” he said. “We’re running an upbeat, forward-thinking campaign about bold ideas, which makes Leslie a perfect fit for our growing team. In addition to being the first black, openly LGBTQ office-holder in Colorado, Leslie is an amazing community advocate and a tireless champion of economic and social justice.

“Together we’ll not only defend our values against attacks from Donald Trump — we’ll make Colorado’s economy work for every family, no matter who you are or who you love.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.