First openly gay man to be elected governor sworn in to office in Colorado

Colorado Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisSunday shows preview: Multiple states detect cases of the omicron variant Colorado loosens restrictions on antibody treatment, holds off on mask mandate Lobbying world MORE (D) officially took over the state's top role on Tuesday, becoming the first openly gay man to be sworn in as governor.

Thousands of people turned out for the inauguration ceremony in Denver, where Polis was joined by his partner, Marlon Reis, and other state leaders.

"Right now, our nation is experiencing a period of growing divisive and rising tribalism," Polis said. "But here in Colorado, we choose a different path. Here, we have come so far, we have climbed so high, we have done so much, not just to say but to show that we reject the negative and divisive brand of politics."

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Polis, 43, added that the state has "decided to celebrate our differences," which he argued "make us a stronger Colorado for all." He later posed for a selfie from the podium.

Polis previously served five-terms as a congressional representative for Colorado's 2nd Congressional District.

He comfortably defeated Republican Walker Stapleton, who was backed by President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a 'f---ing idiot' over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence MORE, in last November's gubernatorial race.

Polis is the first openly gay man to be sworn in as governor, but is not the first openly gay governor. Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevy came out as gay while in office in 2004, and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is openly bisexual.

Polis replaces former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), who was term-limited. Hickenlooper has said he is mulling a presidential bid in 2020, and has indicated he is leaning toward running.