Lamborn, Rayburn to debate June 16 in downtown Colorado Springs


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You have to go back to 2008 to find the last time Fifth Congressional District Rep. Doug Lamborn (left) debated a challenger to his seat. That was the year Lamborn agreed to one debate with Democrat Hal Bidlack and American Constitution Party candidate Brian Scott, just five days before a November election he would win handily.

In 2010, he ignored Lt. Col. Kevin Bradley, a Democrat. In 2012, he declined the invitations of Republican Robert Blaha in the primary, and Independent Dave Anderson in the general. He cruised to victory each time.

But some believe change is in the air in 2014, with Major Gen. Bentley Rayburn (right) taking Lamborn on in the June 24 primary, and Major Gen. Irv Halter waiting for the winner in the general election. And something’s apparently hit Lamborn differently, too. After telling the Independent that he’d be willing to debate either candidate given appropriate conditions, he’s followed through and agreed to a June 16 event with Rayburn.

From a press release due to go out tomorrow:

June 4, 2014

The Gazette, Colorado Springs Independent and Colorado Springs Business Journal to host GOP Congressional Debate

The Gazette, The Colorado Springs Independent and The Colorado Springs Business Journal will host the first in a series of political debates at 6 p.m. Monday, June 16 at Centennial Hall, located at 200 S. Cascade Ave. in Colorado Springs. During this first debate, incumbent U.S. Congressional representative Doug Lamborn will debate challenger Maj. Gen. Bentley Rayburn.

“We are working together on this historic debate because we all know the value newspapers bring to inspire the conversation on important community issues,” said Dan Steever, publisher of The Gazette. “This year’s key elections are certainly topics important to the future of our community, state and country.”

“Candidates will be questioned by representatives from all three newspapers, as well as by audience members,” said Jen Furda, associate publisher of The Colorado Springs Business Journal. “In an effort to facilitate a fair and balanced debate, the candidates will have the opportunity to ask each other one question and two opportunities to offer rebuttal statements.”

“The June 16 event kicks off a series of debates this election season,” said John Weiss, publisher of The Colorado Springs Independent. “The debates in the fall will be on the Colorado gubernatorial, U.S. Senate and other statewide races, as well as ballot measures.”

Joe Cole, news director/anchor at FOX 21, will moderate the debate, which will be live streamed on all the sponsoring organizations’ websites for those unable to attend.

Tickets will be available at the offices of the El Paso County GOP, The Gazette, the Independent and the Business Journal. Additional tickets will be available an hour before the event at the venue, on a first-come, first-serve basis.


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