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Gubernatorial candidates spar in Colorado Springs debate over visions for Colorado



Ernest Luning

The Gazette


Colorado’s two major-party candidates for governor sparred over health care, transportation funding and energy policy, among other topics, in a televised debate Saturday night in Colorado Springs.

As in previous debates, Republican Walker Stapleton, the two-term state treasurer, sought to portray Democrat Jared Polis, a five-term congressman, as a creature of Washington who wants to impose expensive programs on the state, while Polis dismissed Stapleton’s attacks as criticism of policies Polis hasn’t proposed.

“You are, sir, the all-star captain of debt,” Stapleton said. “You were as a congressman; you would be as governor.”

“It’s noun, verb, Jared Polis,” Polis responded. “He talks more about what my plans aren’t than what his plans are.”

The debate, sponsored by Colorado Politics, The Gazette, KOAA News5 and the El Pomar Foundation, was the fifth of eight debates the candidates have scheduled this month and took place just days before voters start to receive mail ballots ahead of the Nov. 6 election.

KOAA News5 anchor Rob Quirk moderated the debate, and Elizabeth Watts, a KOAA News5 anchor, and Joey Bunch, the senior political reporter for Colorado Politics, posed questions, including some submitted by the public.

Before the gubernatorial candidates faced off, the major-party candidates for attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer debated in front of an audience of roughly 250 at the Penrose House near The Broadmoor.


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