Candidates go toe-to-toe with cardboard Lamborn

A life-size, cardboard cutout stood in for Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn at a debate with his challengers, Democrat Hal Bidlack and American Constitution Party candidate Brian Scott, on Wednesday night in Colorado Springs. Bidlack has been showing up at events with the cardboard Lamborn to point out the 5th Congressional District incumbent’s refusal to attend joint campaign events.

Lamborn skipped the debate so he could volunteer at a Republican phone bank across town, according to The Gazette. “He has no time to meet his employers during this election, except on Oct. 30,” Bidlack told the newspaper, referring to the lone debate Lamborn has agreed to attend, five days before the election.

That debate — which will also include Scott — is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 30 at Sand Creek High School, 7005 N. Carefree Circle, and is sponsored by the Republican Club of Falcon.

Lamborn told a Colorado Springs television station on Monday he was disappointed he wouldn’t be debating his opponents more often. “I was up for doing a couple of debates and right now we’re back down to one, which is unfortunate,” Lamborn told KRDO-TV.

Catherine Mortensen, Lamborn’s campaign manager, issued a statement about her boss’s debate attendance to the Gazette:

“Congressman Lamborn is committed to a Republican victory in November. He is looking beyond his own race to the bigger picture — victory for John McCain and Bob Schaffer.

“The Congressman and his supporters will be reaching out to thousands of voters tonight asking them to support the real candidates for change — John McCain and Sarah Palin.

The Congressman has already committed to organizing this important effort and to being there to make calls.”

Bidlack, meanwhile, has been getting plenty of use out of the cardboard Lamborn, including a featured role in a campaign commercial.