March 9, 2018 at 9:59 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
VIDEO: Rep. Lewis endorses Jared Polis for Colorado governor

Civil rights leader John Lewis endorses Jared Polis in a campaign video.

Civil rights pioneer Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) has endorsed Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) in his bid to become Colorado governor and potentially the first openly gay person elected governor in the United States.

Lewis, who helped organize the 1963 March on Washington and the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches, announced his support for Polis in a 30-second video this week the campaign calls its first ad.

“Jared and I have worked together for years to expand civil rights, and to make health care more affordable to millions,” Lewis said. “I’m proud to call Jared my friend. He has the courage to be a great governor of Colorado.”

Cited by Lewis as evidence of Polis’ courage being one of 58 Democrats in December — only one-third of the caucus — to vote in favor of a measure on the House floor to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

“Not long ago, only 58 people in all of Congress had the courage to say, ‘We must start to impeach Donald Trump,'” Lewis says. “Jared Polis is one of those few leaders, courageous enough to end Donald Trump’s presidency.”

On his Facebook page, Polis thanks Lewis for his endorsement, saying the lawmaker and civil rights icon has “always been a hero of mine.”

“It is beyond humbling to have his support as we continue building a more equal and just nation,” Polis continues. “Rep. John Lewis knows what it means to fight for our fundamental rights and shared values. I’m running for governor to recognize health care as a basic human right, fight discrimination, and ensure every American has the chance to get ahead.”

The Democratic primary in Colorado is set for June 26. Polis is one of many Democrats seeking his party’s nomination to run in the general election.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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