Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis picked up an endorsement Tuesday from Pat Schroeder, the first woman elected to Congress from Colorado.
Pointing to Polis’ pledges to bring universal health care to the state and make Colorado a leader providing paid family leave, Schroeder said she’s inspired by the five-term congressman’s “unmatched record of turning bold ideas into real results for Colorado families.”
“When I ran for Congress, people said that ‘housewives’ couldn’t hold elected office,” said Schroeder, who won her first of 12 terms in 1972. “Then I was elected and they only gave me half a chair on the Armed Services Committee. We’ve come a long way since then, but there are still far too many Americans whose voices are underrepresented in the halls of power. By electing Jared Polis as our next governor, we’ll be doing more than breaking another barrier; we’ll be sending a fearless, progressive leader to the governor’s office.”
Polis was the first openly gay man elected to Congress — something he plans to discuss with Schroeder at a campaign event in Denver on May 17 about the “challenges of being the ‘first’ to hold a position.”
Four Democrats are running in the June 26 primary for governor. In addition to Polis, the candidates are former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne and former state Sen. Mike Johnston.
Schroeder represented the 1st Congressional District and briefly ran for president in 1988. She was the first woman to serve on the House Armed Services Committee and later chaired the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families. She was a prime sponsor of the Family and Medical Leave Act and co-founded the Congressional Women’s Caucus.
Following her retirement from Congress in 1997, Schroeder served for 12 years as president of the American Association of Publishers. She lives in Florida.
The Polis campaign’s “Breaking Barriers” event with Schroeder is at 5 p.m. May 17 at Syntax Physic Opera in Denver.