Jared Polis sworn in for second term as Colorado governor

Inauguration ceremony for statewide elected officials crowds Colorado Capitol Tuesday

By: - January 10, 2023 4:52 pm

Gov. Jared Polis addresses the audience after being sworn in to office during his inauguration ceremony at the Colorado Capitol in Denver, Jan. 10, 2023. (Kevin Mohatt for Colorado Newsline)

Gov. Jared Polis has officially started his second term at Colorado’s helm after he and Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera took the oath of office outside the Colorado Capitol Tuesday morning. 

In his inaugural address, Polis thanked Colorado voters for affirming that democracy is worth voting for by reelecting him to a second term in office. He said he intends to lead in search of solutions to real-life challenges, making Colorado a more desirable place for those who choose to start their families in the state. 

This includes ensuring equitable access to good schools and health care, safe communities, affordable housing, and clean air and water. While Polis said he crossed some big-ticket items off his to-do list in his first term, that doesn’t mean there’s any less work going into his second term.

“I’m so honored that people from across our state … have spoken loud and clear that Colorado wants unity, not division,” Polis said in his speech. “We want practical solutions. We want real results over partisan ideology. We want to move forward with a bright, positive vision for a shared future for everyone in a Colorado for all.” 

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State Senate President Steve Fenberg and House Speaker Julie McCluskie, both Democrats, also addressed the crowd, thanking Polis for being a supportive partner of the Legislature. Fenberg said that, given the challenges Colorado has faced over the last four years — including devastating wildfires, the coronavirus pandemic, gun violence and dangerous political rhetoric — Coloradans must always be able to lean on each other for support. 

“The fact that we can convene here today — with a level of normalcy, a sense of safety in the context of having one of the strongest economies in the country — it is nothing short of amazing, and we should all be incredibly grateful,” Fenberg said. “But our good fortune is no accident: It’s due in large part to the leadership of Gov. Jared Polis and his administration.”

Our administration will never be about putting our fellow Coloradans down ... We will always, always seek to lift people up, expanding freedom, opportunities and love for one and all.

– Gov. Jared Polis

McCluskie emphasized the state’s work to support children and schools, increasing the state’s per student funding, and increasing access to child care through universal preschool and kindergarten, all with Polis’ support.

“Everywhere we look, education is the fertile ground, the incubator from which the Colorado dream grows,” McCluskie said. 

She also praised Polis for guiding Colorado “with a steady hand” through the challenges of the past four years, especially given that Colorado is coming out of the pandemic with a strong economy. 

“What makes Governor Polis so special is his ability to see what lies ahead and set Colorado on a course to get us where we need to go,” McCluskie said. “His innovative approaches and willingness to do the hard work have led to transformational changes in meeting his bold goals for our state.”

After taking her oath, Primavera said she wakes up every day grateful for the opportunity she has to serve Colorado, and that she and Polis will value the differing perspectives every corner of the state has to offer. 

Secretary of State Jena Griswold, Treasurer Dave Young and Attorney General Phil Weiser — all Democratic incumbents — also took their oaths of office Tuesday, surrounded by their loved ones and other elected officials, including state legislators, former governors, and U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper. 

The inauguration ceremony also featured the Colorado National Guard’s 38 cannon salute honoring Colorado’s statehood, as well as performances from Tarell Martin & C2 Mass Choir, the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus, and the Out Loud Colorado Springs Men’s Chorus. Polis’ mother, Susan Polis Schutz, read a poem for the crowd, and leaders from various religions as well as the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Tribes spoke as well. 

“Our administration will never be about putting our fellow Coloradans down,” Polis said. “We will always, always seek to lift people up, expanding freedom, opportunities and love for one and all. Because no matter what part of Colorado you call home, no matter who you are, no matter who you love, no matter your race, your gender, how you worship, how you vote — at the end of the day, Colorado belongs to all of us, and we will all help shape a better future for the great state of Colorado.”

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Lindsey Toomer
Lindsey Toomer

Lindsey Toomer covers politics, social justice and other stories for Newsline. She formerly reported on city government at the Denver Gazette and on Colorado mountain town government, education and environment at the Summit Daily News. Toomer graduated from the Pennsylvania State University, where she also served as managing editor of The Daily Collegian, with degrees in journalism and global studies.

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