Gubernatorial Debate: Stapleton and Polis go head to head

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Republican Walker Stapleton, and Democrat Jared Polis faced off at Colorado Mesa University in The Rural Colorado Debate for Governor.

A major talking point was the future of energy in the state.

"You cannot have a water future in Colorado without a collaborative constructive energy industry that puts Coloradans first," Stapleton said.

"We have a goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2040," Polis said.

Both men oppose Proposition 112, but have very different ideas of what Colorado energy should look like.

"We have enough natural gas reserves in the Piceance Basin to power the state of California for the next 50 years," Stapleton said.

"Expedite the processing, reducing red tape, and allowing wind and solar projects to go up quicker," Polis said.

And on the issue of healthcare:

"We want to model Medicaid after bundle payment systems like Arkansas, which have been proven to reduce costs by 20 to 30 percent," Polis said.

"We've had issues with fraud and abuse and people that qualify that shouldn't qualify. The only way we are going to fix this is to have all the government agencies involved in Medicaid collaboratively work on the frontlines of how to make this system better," Stapleton said.

Prescription drugs also played a big role in the discussion.

"I have a friend who lives right here in Grand Junction with a daughter who's shots cost $10,000 every quarter. Under Congressman Polis's plan, she wouldn't be able to get access to that medication," Stapleton said.

"My friends who have life-saving prescription drugs shouldn't be forced to pay five to ten times as much as our friends in Canada, or Germany, or other countries," Polis said.

So many different issues, but one goal in mind: To win over the Western Slope.

"By putting Colorado first, you don't just put the metro area first, you put all of Colorado first," Stapleton said.

"Guess who gets left behind? The middle class. I am going to put the middle class first here in Colorado," Polis said.

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