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Limited GOP Field For Colorado Governor Debates

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(credit: ThinkStock)

(credit: ThinkStock)

CONTEST

DENVER (AP) – The Colorado governor’s race kicked off in earnest Tuesday, when four of six Republican candidates planned to meet in a first formal debate for the right to challenge Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Tom Tancredo (credit: CBS)

Tom Tancredo (credit: CBS)

But the debate sponsored by The Denver Post was missing both front-runners, Secretary of State Scott Gessler and former congressman Tom Tancredo. The two have said they won’t participate in primary debates.

Secretary of State Scott Gessler (credit: CBS)

Secretary of State Scott Gessler (credit: CBS)

“They serve only to provide fodder for the Democratic governor,” said Tancredo’s campaign manager, Brian Dotterer.

Sen. Greg Brophy talks with CBS4's Howard Nathan (credit: CBS)

Sen. Greg Brophy talks with CBS4′s Howard Nathan (credit: CBS)

Candidates who planned to attend the debate included Republican state Sen. Greg Brophy and former state Sen. Mike Kopp.

Kopp poked fun at the pair of candidates skipping the debate by posting an image of empty chairs with their campaign logos attached.

Colorado’s primary elections are June 24. The state GOP allows a maximum of three candidates to get on ballots through a statewide assembly, though more can petition onto primary ballots, as some intend to do.

On the Democratic side, Hickenlooper has no opposition for the nomination.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released earlier this month found that voters were split on whether Hickenlooper deserves re-election. But voters preferred him by margins of six points or more against the Republicans vying for the chance to face him in November.

LINK: GOP Gubernatorial Debate

- By Kristen Wyatt, AP Writer

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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