How much can you say in 30 minutes?
The Club 20 statehouse debates were all just under a half-hour in length. Can a candidate really get his or her message across in a forum that brief? Can a potential voter get questions answered?”It’s hard to give specific answers in a minute,” Republican statehouse candidate Heather Lemon said. “Neither one of us said anything, really, about I-70, because you can’t explain it in a minute.”Still, the debates are an important forum, state senate candidate Jay Fetcher said.”There aren’t many of my voters here,” Fetcher said. “But it can be an effective forum.”Incumbent state Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, has been through six Club 20 debates as a candidate for the state house and the senate. The quick debates aren’t quite like anything else, he said.Taylor said he asked Club 20 director Reeves Brown to expand the time for the debates.”How do you capsulize a 12-year legislative career in two minutes?” Taylor asked.Still, Taylor said, Club 20 debates provide an important forum, especially for his district, which basically covers northwest Colorado north of I-70 and west of the Continental Divide.While the debates are tightly formatted, one longtime member said they can be useful.”If you pay close attention, they are,” Eagle Realtor and Club 20 board member Tom Harned said.