Colorado Congressman Jared Polis and Mike Coffman aren’t set to run against each other in the 2018 elections, but they clashed Wednesday like head-to-head opponents on a variety of business issues at an event sponsored by the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry.

Polis, a Boulder Democrat running for governor next year, and Coffman, an Aurora Republican seeking re-election to his swing-district seat, butted heads on transportation funding, tax reform and the conflicting ideology behind free trade and fair trade.

About the only area where the two congressmen did not display substantial differences was on energy policy, where Polis showed an unusual inclination toward the oil and gas industry and said Colorado is “in a great place as a state” when it comes to the energy industry.

Comments from the two leaders largely overshadowed those from the other three members of Colorado’s congressional delegation who attended the annual panel discussion — Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Arvada and Republican Reps. Ken Buck of Windsor and Scott Tipton of Cortez — and seemed to draw into focus the differing Republican and Democratic ideologies on several key issues.

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