While some people spent Halloween night with scary movies and candy, others were not tricked, but treated with a live debate between gubernatorial candidates Republican Bob Beauprez and Democrat Bill Ritter.
The event was sponsored by Channel 9 News and The Denver Post and was held at the University of Denver.
Both candidates received loud applause upon entering the auditorium, but it was their answers to many difficult questions that earned them more vocal applause and even some booing.
The candidates were asked questions by political reporters from both Channel 9 News and The Denver Post, as well as from audience members and even democratic Senator Ken Salazar.
Part of the questioning process included “lightning round” questions, in which Beauprez and Ritter were to answer “yes” or “no” as fast as they could to questions concerning amendments and referendums for the Nov. 7 elections.
The candidates were asked if they supported Referendum I, which concerns domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. Ritter agreed with the referendum while Beauprez opposed it.
Both candidates responded “yes” to a question concerning a need for stricter voting policies and registration. They agreed that voters should be required to show proof of citizenship in order to vote.
Other topics debated included: abortion, immigration and Referendum C.
Referendum C was approved by voters in 2005 and permits the state to spend money collected over its limit for the next five years on health care, public education, transportation projects and local fire and police pensions.
Beauprez stood by his decision not to approve Referendum C at the debate.
Both candidates had the opportunity to appeal to the audience about any misconceptions they believed voters might have.
Ritter addressed his reputation of plea bargaining illegal immigrants while he held office as district attorney.
“I believe we did a great job in that office. And the things that we did in that office over the 12-year period when I was the district attorney proved that up. We sent over 12,000 people to prison in a 12-year period,” Ritter said.
Beauprez addressed how he has received what he thinks is the false name “Both Ways Bob.”
“You know sometimes rules are out there that get in the way of doing the right thing. I happen to believe you follow the truth. You do what you believe is morally correct. And, again, the right thing to do, and you’ll always be on the right path,” Beauprez said.
Both candidates were granted two minutes at the end of the debate to make a final appeal as to why voters should choose them as the next Colorado governor.
Beauprez said it’s his life experience both as a dairy farmer and a member of congress that sets him apart from opponent Bill Ritter.
“Colorado is a special place and I plan to keep it special, ” Beauprez said. “I am who I am and I follow what I believe are moral convictions and truth.”
Ritter said it’s his vision of Colorado and it’s future that makes him the right choice for governor. He said that Coloradans need to have hope about what their state can become under his leadership.
“This is a better place because there was a leader in place that had a vision for a state that we hand over to our kids and our grandkids that is not inferior to how we found it,” Ritter said.
Anshuman Bhatia, a political science and theatre major at the University of Denver, said he will vote for Ritter come election time.
“I believe Ritter will lead us in a democratic direction, and this is what we need right now,” Bhatia said.
Senior Mary Holtgrewe at Rock Solid High School disagrees.
“I don’t think Ritter has as much experience as Bob Beauprez,” Holtgrewe said. “Beauprez has experience both in congress and in business.”
Holtgrewe also said her vote will go to Beauprez because of his views on abortion and his plan to stop illegal immigration.
Check out 9News to watch Tuesday night’s debate.
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