GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Local and state legislators went head to head at the Club 20 candidate debate in Grand Junction to debate issues they believe to be most important for Western Colorado this election year. Candidates on both sides of the aisle found some common ground but battled it out on issues they didn’t agree on.
“It sounded like we agreed on being in opposition to the introduction of the Grey Wolf,” says Colorado House of Representatives member Matt Soper, the Republican Incumbent representing District 54.
“We agreed that western Coloradans need to keep their guns because we have livestock to protect,” says AliceMarie Slaven-Emond, the Democratic candidate running to represent District 54 in the Colorado House of Representatives.
“How everything gets paid for,” responds Rep. Janice Rich, when asked about what she and her opponent disagreed on. She’s the Republican Incumbent representing District 55 in the Colorado House of Representatives. “I’m a fiscal conservative,” she says.
“Janice has voted against a lot of healthcare things and a lot of women’s issues, quite frankly,” says Scott Beilfuss, who is running for election to the Colorado House of Representatives to represent District 55.
The Club 20 debates are unique because there’s a cross examination portion where candidates are allowed a few minutes to ask eachother questions. This added to the weight of the absence of congressional candidates Lauren Boebert and Diane Mitsch Bush, and Senate candidate and former Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper.
“I believe all three of them should have shown up 100% because this is about Western Colorado, this is about speaking directly to Western Colorado,” says Soper.
But the candidates who did participate expressed the importance of making sure their beliefs are heard and understood, so voters can make informed decisions this November.
“I’m delighted to live in an area, in a country where we can debate, agree to disagree, and still walk out friends,” says AliceMarie Slaven-Emond.
Below is a link to the virtual debate: