Candidate for House District 61 spar at Frisco debate |

Candidate for House District 61 spar at Frisco debate

Julie McCluskie (D), left, shakes hands with Mike Mason (R) during the candidate debate for Colorado House District 61 on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the Summit County Community and Senior Center in Frisco.
Hugh Carey /

Heading into the home stretch of a lively election season, candidates Mike Mason (Republican) and Julie McCluskie (Democrat) spoke about their positions on issues near and dear to Summit County during Wednesday night’s candidate forum and debate at the Summit County Community and Senior Center. Speaking to the packed house, the candidates spoke about the approach they’ll take to governing if they are elected to succeed Rep. Millie Hamner, who will vacate her seat due to term limits next year.

McCluskie came off as polished while Mason spoke plainly and off the cuff on issues including health care, the environment, public education and their own qualifications for office. On their greatest strengths, Mason said his was his ability to analyze data and make decisions based on good information, while McCluskie said her personal strength was the ability to listen and work with others to tackle problems. Mason represented conservative, rural values calling for smaller government, while McCluskie claimed to want to represent all constituents of the district equally and promote a more progressive approach to tackling problems.

The most eyebrow-raising moment of the debate came when Mason claimed, confidently, that climate change is a “hoax.” Boos and cheers from both sides came pouring in, with basic scientific facts coming into question in front of a community wracked by wildfire and extreme drought. Ballots will be distributed beginning Oct. 15 and the election will be held on Nov. 6.

Video: Watch the full election forum here.


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