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Polis declares victory in Colorado governor's race

Democratic incumbent Jared Polis faced Republican challenger Heidi Ganahl in the Nov. 8 election to decide who will hold the office for the next four years.

DENVER — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis secured a second term on Tuesday after defeating a challenge from Republican Heidi Ganahl, according to results from The Associated Press and NBC News.

In his victory speech, which came shortly after NBC called the race, Polis began by thanking both Ganahl and 3rd Party candidate Danielle Neuschwanger, who refused to drop out of the race and endorse Ganahl. 

"We protected people's freedom, something we love in Colorado," Polis said. "In Colorado, we offer something special. The idea that your choices belong to you, and no one else."

He thanked his team and his family, saying he wouldn't be celebrating today if it weren't for strong grassroots efforts.

"God bless the great state of Colorado, and God bless America," he said before leaving the stage.

Polis spoke with 9NEWS briefly after his victory declaration.

Ganahl released a statement congratulating Polis on his win.

She followed it by saying:

Tonight did not go the way we had hoped and prayed for, but I know this movement is real. This Mom on a Mission is proud to have given a voice to the army of mad moms, dads, and grandparents of Colorado who are scared about what the future of our beautiful state holds for our kids and grandkids.

Governor Polis, I wish you well, and my prayers will be with you. This election is over, but our problems are not. Crime in Colorado is real. Record inflation is real. The state of our education system is real. Please do not ignore the cries of help from so many in our state. I implore you to be a governor for all Coloradans, and to seek consensus with those of us on the other side of the aisle, even when that may not be easy.

In scripture, we are told: “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5

I am a fighter. I’m not sure what my next chapter will be, but I promise I will never stop fighting for the American Dream I have been so blessed to live, and for Colorado families – so many of whom are struggling right now. You have a voice. Make sure those in power understand that the many decisions that they believe should occur in Denver should really be made at the kitchen table; Colorado parents and families matter.

Thank you to my supporters, volunteers, staff, my running mate Danny Moore, and my family for taking this journey with me. May God continue to bless you all and may God bless our home, Colorado.

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Polis announced his bid for reelection in February. Prior to serving as governor, he served on the State Board of Education and represented Colorado's 2nd Congressional District.

Polis ran unopposed in this year’s primary.

Ganahl beat out Greg Lopez in the GOP primary. She is both a businesswoman and an elected member of the University of Colorado’s Board of Regents. She’s been in the news leading up to the election with claims of litter boxes in schools, which GOP politicians nationally have been citing to back up claims that students are identifying as cats.

The results are below (polls close at 7 p.m.):

Results are called by The Associated Press. Click here for more on how AP calls races.

>Find all of our election coverage at 9news.com/elections.

Ganahl declined to debate Polis on 9NEWS in October, making her the first gubernatorial candidate not to debate on 9NEWS in 28 years.

Polis sat down one-on-one with Kyle Clark late last month.

You can watch the full interview below:

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