Jared Polis, a web entrepreneur who launched his bid for a Colorado U.S. House seat last May and has received the endorsements of openly gay Rep. Tammy Baldwin as well as the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, was bypassed by top gay fundraisers and activists in his home state in favor of Joan Fitz-Gerald, a former Colorado Senate President.
The Rocky Mountain News reports: “At a fundraiser Thursday night at the Bonnie Brae home of activist Scott Coors and his partner, Dave Hurt, gays young and old wrote checks to help Fitz-Gerald’s campaign. ‘Kick Jared’s —,’ one donor wrote on the memo line of his $250 check. ‘This is obviously an interesting race for gay people,’ said Scott Miller, whose partner, Tim Gill, is well-known nationwide for helping liberal and gay causes. ‘There’s an expectation we have to support our own, and there is a sense of disappointment that we didn’t endorse Jared.’ But Fitz-Gerald’s legislative record could not be ignored, Miller and Gill said. ‘I think no one has done more for the gay community legislatively than Joan Fitz-Gerald,’ Gill told the crowd.”
Polis appeared unruffled in a statement to the News: “No one should support a candidate just because they are gay, just as no one should support a candidate just because they are women.”
Gill cites loyalty as the reason for his decision. Tough apparently cordial so far, the race, which also includes Will Shafroth, of Boulder, may “be one of the costliest and ugliest primaries in the nation in 2008” according to the paper.