GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.-
Candidates from across Colorado will be in the Grand Valley this weekend for a Club 20 debate featuring many races.
Some key match-ups voters can expect in Saturday's debates include House District 59, during which Democrat Mike McLachlan will square off against the Republican incumbent, J. Paul Brown.
Republican Don Coram will attend on behalf of House District 58, but his opponent, Democrat Greg Thornton, has dropped out of the race.
The debate for House District 57 will see Democrat JoAnn Baxter up against Republican Bob Rankin.
Republican Randy Baumgardner is giving up his House District 57 seat to take on Democrat Emily Tracy in the state Senate race for District 8.
Current House District 55 seat holder, Republican Ray Scott, will face Democrat Dan Robinson.
The House District 61 debate will pick up an additional candidate. In addition to Democrat Millie Hamner and Republican Debra Irvine, Kathleen Curry, who is unaffiliated, will also participate.
Jared Wright, the Republican candidate for House District 54, has declined the non-partisan group's invitation. The only other candidate, Libertarian Tim Menger, doesn't qualify to participate.
"None of the parties, the American Constitution Party, the Libertarian Party, none of those parties had 1 percent in any of our districts," explained Bonnie Petersen, the executive director for Club 20.
It's a controversial issue, but Petersen said all parties have to represent at least 1 percent of their district's population, otherwise too many rogue candidates could step in and muddle the issues. They also operate under this rule to keep the debates at a reasonable amount of time.
The candidates who did not qualify for the debates include the following (as published by the Grand Junction Sentinel):
Senate District 8: Sacha Weis (Libertarian)
House District 54: Tim Menger (Libertarian)
House District 55: Virgil Fenn (Libertarian)
House District 57: Dan Enright (Libertarian)
House District 58: Jeff Downs (Libertarian)
House District 61: Ellen Temby (Libertarian)
House District 61: Robert Petrowsky (American Constitution Party)
Congressional District 3: Gregory Gilman (Libertarian)
Two unaffiliated voters were admitted.
"When you look at the unaffiliated, it's anywhere from 20 to 30 percent in Western Colorado in each of the districts," added Petersen.
In addition to Curry in District 61, the other is Tisha Casida. Casida will debate against Republican incumbent Scott Tipton and Democrat Sal Pace for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District seat.
The nonprofit club also has a representative from each presidential campaign who will discuss national issues.
Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia and Sen. Michael Bennet are also on the program to speak at Saturday's event.
At 5:30 p.m. Friday the club will hold a steak fry that's open to the public. It will be held at the Cross Orchards Historic Site located at 3073 F Road in Grand Junction.
For the full schedule of the weekend's events, click here