Election season in El Paso County heats up Tuesday with the first debate between the two candidates for sheriff.

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa and Monument Police Chief Jake Shirk will square off for their first debate of the primary season Tuesday. Sponsored by the Citizens Project, the debate is slated to run from 5:15-6:30 p.m. in the Carnegie Room of the Penrose Library, 20 N. Cascade Ave.

Tuesday’s affair will be moderated by FOX 21 anchor Joe Cole, and will begin with two-minute opening statements by each candidate, followed by 15 minutes of questioning by members of the local media.

People in the audience will then get 15 minutes to ask the candidates questions.

Each candidate will then give final statements, at which point audience members will be able to talk to the candidates personally.

The debate comes just one day after early ballots for the primary election are mailed out to voters, and offers residents one of only two opportunities to see the candidates debate before the Aug. 10 primary.

The two Republicans will meet again on July 26 for a debate hosted by The Gazette, NewsFirst5 and the Pikes Peak Library District. The debate will take place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Sand Creek Library, 1821 S. Academy Blvd.