The State Debate

In exactly one month, ballots will begin arriving in mailboxes around Colorado, asking you to help pick the handful of people who will lead our state through the next four years.

Who can best deal with Colorado’s runaway growth, its exploding demand for skilled workers, its knotty traffic problems and needy schools? How about the surging homeless population and the state’s burgeoning appetite for energy, clean and otherwise? What comes next for legalized pot? Who’s with President Donald Trump, who’s against?

Though you can try to figure who’s best up to the task on candidate websites or via their TV ads and social media feeds, there’s nothing like face time.

Democracy still works best when it is done in person, and here’s your chance: The State Debate.

The Gazette, Colorado Politics and KOAA News5 will host the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and state treasurer — all in one place for the first time — on Saturday, Oct. 13, in Colorado Springs, right before ballots are mailed.

Come meet the candidates in person at The Garden Pavilion at Penrose House. Find out who they really are, where they stand, the passions that drive them. Ask them your toughest questions to their faces, and get some real answers.

This is your last and only chance to see a debate between the candidates for governor — and for all these offices — here in Colorado Springs before the Nov. 6 election.

The State Debate, which is actually four debates, will start at 5 p.m.

We’ve made signing up easier than voting. Just go to thestatedebate.com and RSVP right there and we’ll save you a place. If you’d like, submit a question on the site, with the “submit a question” tab, and we’ll do our best to make sure it gets asked.

KOAA News5 anchor Rob Quirk will act as moderator, and questions will be asked by panelists Joey Bunch, political reporter for Colorado Politics and The Gazette, and Elizabeth Watts, KOAA News5 anchor.

The governor’s debate features state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, the Republican nominee, versus U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, the Democratic candidate.

In the attorney general’s debate, Democrat Phil Weiser, former deputy assistant attorney general, will face off with Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, a Republican.

Incumbent Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican, will take on Jena Griswold, a Democrat.

In the treasurer’s race, Democrat Dave Young, a state representative, will debate Republican Brian Watson, a businessman.

The debates will be divided into two parts:

The Statewide Candidate Forum from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

The candidates for treasurer, secretary of state and attorney general will get half an hour per office to make their case to you.

The three debates will be broadcast live on KOAA’s News5 Now channel — over the air on channel 5.2 and all cable providers.

The Gubernatorial Debate from 7 to 8 p.m.

The main event will be broadcast live on KOAA5 as well — over the air on channel 5.1 and all cable and satellite providers.

Both portions of the debate will be streamed live on koaa.com, gazette.com and TheStateDebate.com.

Remember, in a government of, by and for the people, these guys work for you.

Here’s your chance to give them your personal marching orders (or a piece of your mind).

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