Western Slope Candidates Face One Another, Constituents at Club 20 Debates
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- On Saturday Western Slope candidates took the stage at the 2012 Club 20 debates.
Debates took place for virtually every Western Slope race.
More than 225 community leaders from across the Western Slope came to Grand Junction for the debates, where no issue was off the table.
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., said, "Club 20 is just such an important organization. It brings together leadership from all over the Western Slope."
Don Coram, R-HD 58, said, "You have a lot of really interesting people that are here. If you sit back and listen, you can probably learn a lot more than you can by talking."
Last minute changes made for an exciting event. District 54 candidate Jared Wright opted out and Libertarian candidate Tim Menger was given the opportunity to have a voice.
Menger said, "I think the reason that they finally broke down and wanted to invite me is because I am the true honest voice of District 54."
Although the atmosphere at Friday’s dinner was more relaxed, Saturday was much more focused on the issues.
At the debate for Colorado's Third Congressional District, Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., said, "Government does not create jobs, the private sector actually does. If you've got a small business in this country, you did build it."
Rep. Sal Pace, a Democrat, also took part in the debate. He said, "I feel that it's time for the rest of us, people like you and me, to have a voice again in Congress. There are too many people who are hurting."
Also running for Colorado District 3, Independent candidate Tisha Casida said, "We have to stop with the bureaucracy and the red tape that's coming from the federal government."
Candidates talked about their plans if elected in the future.
Democratic candidate for House District 55, Dan Robinson, said, "I'm realistic, I'm practical, and I want results and I want solutions. That's what it's all about for me. I don't get into the partisanship of all this."
Rep. Ray Scott, R-HD 55, said, "The plan is this: Continue to go after regulations that are hurting business, continue to make sure our kids are getting a good education and we've got to get small business moving. They create jobs."
With elections approaching, candidates didn't hold anything back.
Casida said, "Both political parties in essence are a collective right. And collective rights eventually erode the rights of the individual."
"A few weeks in Alamosa, Congressman Tipton and I debated this topic. I said we need more bipartisanship, we need people to work together. Congressman Tipton's response was 'now is not the time to get along,'" said Pace.
Tipton said, "It is about outcomes. I have an opponent in this race that voted for a $250 million tax increase on hardworking Coloradans."
As is the case with any debate, there was some friction at this one, but candidates were able to get their messages out.