UPDATED 9/7/2006: Election season on the Western Slope doesn’t officially start until the Club 20 Fall Meeting, which starts on Friday in Grand Junction. The Saturday event and debate will feature an all-star cast: Governor Owens, Senators Ken Salazar and Wayne Allard, and Congressmen Mark Udall and John Salazar.The debates include candidates for Western Slope legislative races in House Districts 54, 55, 56, 57, 58 and 59, and Senate Districts 5, 6 and 7. The warm-up to the Saturday evening main event will be the Congressional Third debate between Democratic incumbent John Salazar and challenger Scott Tipton.
The finale will star the gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Bill Ritter and Republican Bob Beauprez. Complete schedule and candidate list can be viewed here.
Although Club 20 professes to be politically non-partial, in reality it is very a Republican leaning organization reflecting the majority of constituents on the West Slope. Kathy Hall, a lobbyist for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, is the current president.
However, the Colorado Conservation Voters Campaign Fund purchased two large billboards in Grand Junction attacking Beauprez, accompanied by radio ads, which might sour the Republican mood.
Democrats plan a big rally right before the evening event and will offer free tickets to the congressional and gubernatorial debates to their supporters.