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Civil rights legend John Lewis endorses gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis as Democrats head to caucus

Author: Ernest Luning - March 6, 2018 - Updated: March 6, 2018

Civil rights icon John Lewis, a Democratic congressman from Georgia, endorses U.S. Rep. Jared Polis’ run for governor of Colorado in a video ad released by the Polis campaign on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (Via YouTube)

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis released a video endorsement from civil rights legend John Lewis on Tuesday praising the Boulder congressman’s “courage” for supporting President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

The video went out to 15,000 Polis supporters in text messages and emails, Polis’ campaign said, and will also run online statewide as a digital ad as Democrats prepare to register their preferences in the party’s crowded gubernatorial primary at precinct caucuses.

“Not long ago, only 58 people in all of Congress had the courage to say, ‘We must start to impeach Donald Trump,'” Lewis says in the 30-second video. “Jared Polis is one of those few leaders courageous enough to vote to end Donald Trump’s presidency. Jared and I have worked together for years to expand civil rights and to make health care more affordable to millions. I’m proud to call Jared my friend. He has the courage to be a great governor for Colorado.”

Lewis, an organizer of the 1963 March on Washington and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work fighting segregation during the civil rights movement, has represented a Georgia congressional district since 1987 and is a member of House Democratic leadership, serving as a senior deputy whip.

In December, Polis was one of 58 Democrats who voted in favor of a failed House resolution to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump. At the time, Polis said revelations about the president’s “truthfulness, his integrity, and his ability to lead” raised questions about his fitness for office.

Polis called Lewis’ endorsement “beyond humbling.”

“Rep. John Lewis knows what it means to fight for our fundamental rights and shared values. I’m running for governor to recognize healthcare as a basic human right, fight discrimination, and ensure every American has the chance to get ahead,” Polis said in a statement.

Other Democrats running to replace term-limited Gov. John Hickenlooper include Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy, former state Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, businessman and civic leader Noel Ginsburg and entrepreneur and activist Erik Underwood.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.