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RTB hosts unique candidate forum for CO-3

Posted: Apr 9, 2024 / 06:51 PM MDT

Updated: Apr 10, 2024 / 11:30 AM MDT

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Local nonpartisan political group Restore the Balance hosted a candidate forum for those on the ballot for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District on April 2. For the Republicans Russ Andrews, Jeff Hurd, and Curtis McCrackin attended. Adam Frisch was the lone Democrat who attended, and Adam Withrow was the only Independent at the event.

However, this wasn’t your typical candidate forum. There was no stage, no lights, no camera or action. Each candidate was put in a classroom at Colorado Mesa University with 20 possible future constituents. For 15 minutes the Western Slope residents had the opportunity to ask the candidate about anything with no camera or press allowed inside. “There were questions about issues like immigration and so forth. There were questions about taxes. There were questions about fundraising,” Tim Casey, the head of CMU’s political science department, told WesternSlopeNow. Casey added each room started with a topic to get the discussion going, some examples he gave were bipartisanship, their qualifications, or misinformation.

After 15 minutes the candidates moved to another room until they had visited with each group. “The idea was to get them to have a more intimate conversation with some members of the public,” Casey said.

WesternSlopeNow caught up with some members of the public who attended the event to get their opinion.

It was a fantastic opportunity to hear their stance on exactly what means to us locally. TONY LEE
I’d say it was pretty authentic, it wasn’t like just watching an ad on TV. JANET WYATT
I think it went well. It was very informative. BECKY LEE

Casey told WesternSlopeNow he hopes this event helps change the current political atmosphere. “Trying to reduce extremism politics but also about trying to bring people back together–trying to bring–I don’t want to say the fun back into politics but to bring the people back into politics so that we’re not just looking for a soundbite.”

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