Congressman Jared Polis says he's joining 2018 race for Colorado governor

Posted at 1:26 PM, Jun 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-11 20:30:12-04

DENVER – Congressman Jared Polis will formally announce Monday he’s joining an already packed race for the Colorado governorship.

Polis, a Democrat who represents Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District, made the announcement and laid out his vision for Colorado’s future in a video posted to Facebook Sunday morning.

"Tomorrow, I'm stepping up to formally announce my run for Governor of Colorado," Polis wrote on Facebook. "I have big ideas for our future, and I'm ready to put them into action."

The video touts Polis as a job creator, a fighter for education and a champion for Colorado workers. 

“I’m running for governor to preserve what makes Colorado special, while working to make sure our state works for everyone, not just a few," Polis says.

In the video, Polis goes on to outline what he’s campaigning for: Energy independence by 2040, free full-day kindergarten and preschool for Colorado's children and an inclusive economy “where workers make more, not just CEO’s.”

The congressman, who's seen by many voters as a Boulder liberal, told Denver7 Sunday his campaign will briing bold ideas to the state. 

"I'm really offering a bold vision for our future and I think that's really what this election is about. What kind of Colorado do we want?" he said. 

Polis joins former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy, Congressman Ed Perlmutter, businessman Noel Ginsburg, and former state lawmaker Mike Johnston, all vying for the spot on the Democratic side.

It’s not just them Polis will have to compete with.

On the Republican ticket, he’ll face off against Doug Robinson, an investment banker and nephew to Mitt Romney, 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler, and self-funding former state lawmaker Victor Mitchell.

Polis, who was elected to Congress in 2008, is best known for his 2014 battle against fracking – a process in which water, sand and other chemicals are pumped into the ground to extract oil and gas.

The congressman put two initiatives on the ballot that year that would have imposed new restrictions on fracking, but the move was seen as detrimental by his fellow Democrats, who feared oil and gas companies would spend big money, negatively impacting Gov. John Hickenlooper’s re-election campaign, according to the Denver Post.

Polis will roll out his campaign Monday with events in Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Denver and Boulder.

Polis, one of the top five wealthiest congressmen, spent about $6 million of his personal fortunate to win his House seat in 2008. He said he plans to do the same as he seeks the nomination for governor. 

In 2011, Polis became the first openly gay member of Congress to become a parent, ABC News reports.

Watch his campaign announcement in the video below:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.