Colorado’s candidates for governor, Democratic Congressman Jared Polis and Republican state treasurer Walker Stapleton outlined clear differences in their final head to head face off before Election Day.
The hour and a half debate, moderated by The Denver Post and Channel 7, gave the candidates plenty of time to discuss everything from homelessness and health care, to climate change and how they show empathy. They also stuck to familiar arguments like Stapleton’s criticism of Polis for promising policies that are too extreme for a purple state like Colorado.
“Your health care plan alone would bankrupt the state of Colorado not to mention your renewable plan which would also bankrupt the state of Colorado,” Stapleton said. “You supported a 2,000 foot set back, which you bankrolled, which would drive 230,000 jobs out of Colorado, take $32 billion out of our economy,” Stapleton said.
Polis supports single payer health care and forming a consortium of states that can negotiate for things like lower prescription drug costs. But he said his policies aren’t out of reach.
“We’re spending too much money on health care already. We need to spend less, not more. We talked about our plan to fund preschool and kindergarten, social impact bonds along with money from the general fund. Renewable energy, 20 percent less costs a day than existing coal, and of course there’s no mandate that is part of that,” he said.
The candidates also clashed on other major issues such as transportation funding.
Stapleton supports a ballot initiative, Prop 109, which would issue bonds to pay to fix roads. He also wants to prioritize money from the federal tax law for transportation and eventually use money from taxes on sports gambling for the same. Polis is not supporting either of the transportation measures on the ballot this fall.
It has been an expensive race with Polis spending millions of dollars of his own money on his campaign. Recent polls show Polis leading Stapleton by a comfortable margin.