Coffman and Romanoff spar in closely watched Colorado congressional race

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Romanoff CoffmanMike Coffman is facing a challenge from Democrat Andrew Romanoff in the race for the 6th Congressional District.

The district stretches from Aurora in the north, an area that has high poverty rates and a large immigrant population, to wealthier suburbs like Centennial and Greenwood Village in the south.

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In interviews with "Colorado Matters," the candidates shared their views on issues like jobs, immigration, personhood and health care.

On jobs and the economy, Andrew Romanoff said he supports increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 -- the amount President Barack Obama has proposed.

“We ought to raise the minimum wage so if you work hard, you don’t have to live in poverty,” Romanoff said.

Coffman highlighted his record of support for the major employers in the district, including Buckley Air Force Base, the Anschutz Medical Center in Aurora, and the aerospace industry.

“I’ve certainly worked in strengthening our aerospace industry to create jobs in that sector, which is very important to this district,” Coffman said.

On immigration, the two expressed support for Coffman’s legislation that would offer a path to citizenship for children who weren’t born in the United States but choose to join the military. But the two candidates disagreed about the comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate in 2014 -- and Romanoff criticized the House and his opponent for inaction.

“I support the proposal a bipartisan majority of the United States Senate passed more than a year ago,” Romanoff told "Colorado Matters." “I’m frustrated that the House has not taken action or even allowed a debate on that proposal.”

Coffman said his main concern about the bill is that it offers a path to citizenship for adults who are in the country illegally.

“What I oppose is the special path to citizenship for the adults that knowingly broke the law that is in the Senate-passed bill and also in the companion House bill,” Coffman said.

When asked about gridlock in Congress, both said they were prepared to cross the political aisle. Coffman stressed his efforts to work with Democrats and Romanoff talked about his efforts in the Colorado Legislature to broker compromise between Democrats and Republicans.