Beauprez walks away as clear winner from debate with Hickenlooper

Ed Sealover -- The Denver Post 

Amid a debate that featured many of the same jousts and jabs that have marked Colorado’s gubernatorial race so far, John Hickenlooper and Bob Beauprez also find some areas of agreement regarding higher education, opposition to the proposed Amendment 68 racetrack-casino measure and the need to find new sources of funding for improving the state’s highways.

The Democratic governor and his Republican challenger sparred at a debate sponsored by The Denver Post once again over the state of the economy and how Colorado is doing in comparison to other states.

Beauprez noted, for example, that five of the seven states adjacent to Colorado have lower unemployment rates than here, while Hickenlooper countered that Colorado’s unemployment rate has dropped 4 percent since he took office in 2011 — nearly double the 2.2 percent average reduction in surrounding states.

They also disagreed over whether the minimum wage should be raised to $10.10 an hour, with Beauprez saying it shouldn’t and Hickenlooper responding “Yeah, sure.” And they clashed over social issues such as abortion and the death penalty.

But there also were a number of areas where the Democratic former Denver mayor and the Republican former congressman agreed or held more nuanced policy debates. Those included:

  • Both agreed that they oppose Amendment 68, which seeks to allow the construction of a casino at Arapahoe Park racetrack whose tax revenues will help fund education, with possible future racetrack casinos in Mesa and Pueblo counties.
  • Both also said they oppose Proposition 105, which would require mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods.
  • Both agreed that the state needs to find ways to get more resources to roads, though they disagreed on how specifically they would do that.

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