Debate at college up in air

The frontrunners for Western Colorado’s congressional seat have not been able to schedule a debate at their alma mater, Fort Lewis College.

College officials have been working since March to sponsor a televised debate on Rocky Mountain PBS, said Angela Rochat, the college’s director of federal relations.

The debate would feature U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, Democratic challenger Sal Pace and unaffiliated candidate Tisha Casida.

Rocky Mountain PBS offered several dates, but none of them worked for everybody, Rochat said.

Pace’s campaign manager, Chad Obermiller, said Tipton has been the stumbling block.

“We looked forward to debating the issues in Southwest Colorado, but Congressman Tipton can’t find the time to do it,” Obermiller said.

Tipton’s campaign manager, Michael Fortney, said Tipton had a conflict on the date that was offered.

The debate could still happen.

“If it could fit in our schedule, we will do it,” Fortney said.

Tipton and Pace will have their fourth – and possibly final – debate tonight in Pueblo.

jhanel@durangoherald.com