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.
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.
“They serve only to provide fodder for the Democratic governor,” said Tancredo’s campaign manager, Brian Dotterer.
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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
More Campaign 2014 Stories
- Rep. Lamborn’s Family Earns Money From Campaign
- GOP Withdraws Recount Request In 2 Adams County Races
- Colorado Returns To Split-Party Legislative Rule
- New GOP Senators Show Moderated, Cooperative Tone
- Democrats Acknowledge GOP Control Of Colorado Senate
- Single Undecided Senate Race Illustrates State Legislatures’ Importance
- Many Colorado Legislative Races Still Undecided