Election 2018GovernorNews

Stapleton will get the stage to himself at Club 20

Author: Joey Bunch - August 22, 2018 - Updated: September 10, 2018

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StapletonGOP gubernatorial nominee Walker Stapleton, far left, gathers with his family and talks to campaign spokesman Jerrod Dobkin at a campaign event in Greenwood Village on Aug. 11. (Photo by Joey Bunch/Colorado Politics)

Candidates will flock to Grand Junction to debate on Sept. 8, but Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton will have the stage to himself at Club 20’s political gathering.

Stapleton and Democratic nominee Jared Polis each picked the debates they wanted to do, and Polis chose another Grand Junction debate put on by the local Daily Sentinel newspaper with Rocky Mountain PBS and Mesa State University on Oct. 6.

Club 20, the coalition of business and government leaders in Western Slope counties, said Tuesday the show would go on. Stapleton will do a Q&A on stage that night.

“Now, more than ever before, it is imperative to engage with our elected officials, so we have a voice
in shaping the landscape of Western Colorado, both literally and figuratively,” Club 20
Executive Director Christian Reece said. “The issues we are facing as a region, a state and a nation have far
reaching implications and it is vital that our leaders, both locally and in our nation’s capital, be strong advocates on behalf of the needs of our communities.”

RELATED: Polis’ plan to skip Club 20 debate kicks up a fuss on the Western Slope

The campaign offered to send Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne as a surrogate to face off with Stapleton, but Club 20 turned down the offer.

The Polis campaign has said several times it has maintained a strong presence on the Western Slope, including more than three dozen visits by Polis since he joined the race.

Spokeswoman Mara Sheldon provided the statement she previously sent out about Polis’s decision: “We’re disappointed in Club 20’s partisan reaction to a scheduling conflict, and nobody benefits from their decision to deny their club members the opportunity to hear from the sitting lieutenant governor, Donna Lynne. Jared looks forward to debating Walker Stapleton at a free and open televised debate in Grand Junction on October 6th. Jared was just in Basalt (Aug. 10), and he is excited to meet with Coloradans over Labor Day weekend, which he will spend in Grand Junction and other Western Slope communities.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.