3rd Congressional Seat Debate

October 9, 2012

Two of the four candidates in the race for the 3rd congressional seat will take part in a debate tomorrow night in Pueblo. KRCC’s Katherine-Claire O’Connor reports.

Republican incumbent Scott Tipton and Democrat Sal Pace will meet at the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center. The hour-long forum is sponsored by the Chieftain and KRDO. Chieftain marketing manager Tracey Matoon-Amos says it’s important for candidates to pay attention to the area.

"3rd District in particular, Pueblo is a hub of that district. So all the candidates know and understand the importance of reaching the voters here in Pueblo and participating."

KRDO and the Chieftain chose to exclude the independently running Tisha Casida and the libertarian candidate Gregory Gilman from the debate because they say southern Colorado’s voting history doesn’t viably support third party candidates. While Tipton and Pace will answer questions from media panelists for an hour, Casida says her absence is a disservice to voters.

"It’s frustrating but not embarrassing. You are trying to do something good for your community, and you have people that want to hear your voice. And maybe they wouldn’t vote for me, but we do have people that are independent or consider themselves unaffiliated, or are frustrated with both political parties. You can see that in congressional approval rating."

Gilman is not actively campaigning, but is also excluded. The debate starts at seven and is open to the public.