ESTES PARK — All three candidates for the 4th Congressional seat, which represents Longmont and northern Colorado, met for the first time Saturday in a public forum.
Candidates took audience questions and discussed issues for the upcoming Nov. 4 election, ranging from energy independence to border security and illegal drugs.
As they have in the past, GOP incumbent Marilyn Musgrave and Democratic challenger Angie Paccione disagreed about immigration issues, but the debate format prevented them from directly interacting.
“Many people know that a sovereign nation needs to have secure borders,” Musgrave said.
She linked the growing methamphetamine problem in Colorado with border control, and said that meth is creeping over our borders. Musgrave proposed putting new fences, cameras and more officers along the Mexican border.
“Show me a 50-foot fence, and I'll show you a 51-foot ladder,” Paccione said. “We have lots of talk on border security, but we need to fund enforcement.”
Reform Party candidate Eric Eidsness introduced the topic of dependency on foreign oil.
He proposed a 15-year plan to wean the nation from the need to import oil.
Paccione also spoke about the country’s dependency on foreign oil, and said she would fight to extend the wind energy Production Tax Credit to give incentives to businesses pursuing renewable energy. The current tax credit for energy generated by wind turbines will expire in 2007.
Musgrave said drought relief was at the top of her list.
“Drought in northeast Colorado is not on the minds of people around the nation, but it’s on the minds of people in Colorado,” Musgrave said.
The forum was held by Progressive 15 in Estes Park.
Katherine Michalske can be contacted at 303-684-5336 or email@example.com.