Democrats gather in Avon for debate |

Democrats gather in Avon for debate

NWS Pres Debate 1 DT 10-3-12

AVON, Colorado – The local Democratic faithful gathered at Cafe de Luna Wednesday to cheer on their candidate. But there was also at least one undecided voter in attendance.

Marnie Pistole is a business owner and Edwards resident. She’s a college friend of Debbie Marquez, a longtime local Democratic activist and owner of the cafe. She came to see her friend, and listen to the candidates. But, Pistole said, she remains undecided who to vote for.

“I’m afraid if we don’t vote the right way, it may be a long time until we recover,” Pistole said.

Pistole said she came to Marquez’s place with her 12-year-old son to give him a bit of exposure to the political process.

While Pistole came, and left, an undecided voter – “I just don’t know who to believe,” she said – the rest of the crowd was unequivocal in their support.

“Events like this bring people together – it helps build community,” Diane Mitsch Bush said.

Mitsch Bush, a Routt County commissioner and a candidate for the Colorado House of Representatives, said she came to Avon to better get to know local Democrats – and to socialize with those people during a big event.

“It’s kind of like watching a game together,” she said.

And the crowd at Cafe de Luna was a little like a sports crowds, cheering their candidate and scoffing at his opponent.

When Republican Mitt Romney repeated his assertion that federal health reform had cut $716 billion from Medicare, Mitsch Bush shouted loudest:

“Get a grip – they’re not cuts!” she said.

That’s the kind of atmosphere Marquez likes to foster when she plays hostess to these events – as she’s done for years.

“I love hosting Democratic events,” Marquez said. “It’s like having family here.”

And the festive atmosphere was what Jessica and C.J. Tenner came for.

“Politics should be a social event,” Jessica Tenner said.

“I’m tired of sound bites – Americans should talk to each other face to face,” C.J. Tenner said.

But sound bites got the partisans going, with applause for President Obama and catcalls for Romney. If it had been church, there would have been plenty of calls of “amen!”

And the partisans were happy with their candidate’s performance.

“I enjoyed it,” Gladdie Funke said. “I think (Obama) hands-down presented a factual plan going forward. He tried to avoid (Romney’s) generalities.

While Funke’s an unaffiliated voter, she’s an Obama supporter. She came to the event with a Mia Tucholke, a partisan enthusiast.

Tucholke said she’s been volunteering for Democratic in phone banks, voter registration drives and other work.

“I’m fired up,” she said.

And that was another reason for the party, as Democratic volunteers encouraged those who came for the debate to stay involved in the process.

“It’s been escalating,” Techulke said. “It’s going to be very exciting.”

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