KUSA –One of the most competitive seats in the U.S. House of Representatives is the 6th congressional district here in Colorado, which covers Aurora and surrounding areas.
And on Thursday night the candidates faced each other on 9NEWS. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) hopes voters give him a fifth term in office. While state Sen. Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora) thinks she’s the Democrat who can finally capture this swing seat.
The 30-minute debate covered immigration, the presidential race and healthcare.
Here’s what you need to know in case you missed it.
1) Coffman isn’t voting for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“I know there are people who are upset, but I just cannot bring myself to vote for Donald Trump,” Coffman said.
The retired Marine isn’t the only Republican to dump his party’s nominee, but it’s a difficult position nonetheless.
A Magellan Strategies poll recently found that 59 percent of Trump supporters wouldn’t support a down ballot Republican who renounced Trump.
2) Neither candidate could think of anything nice to say.
Both candidates were asked to name a legislative accomplishment of their opponent that they admire.
Coffman said, “I don’t know one.”
Carroll took a long pause before saying she admired two bipartisan bills passed through Congress, but neither belonged to Coffman.
3) Coffman’s not sure about Trump’s alleged lascivious past.
9NEWS anchor Kyle Clark asked both candidates whether they think Trump’s a sexual predator.
Ten women have come forward to accuse the Republican presidential nominee of sexual assault.
Trump flatly denies all the allegations.
Coffman said, “I don’t know,” and pivoted to talk about his own record on sexual assault legislation.
Carroll was sure of her answer. She said yes.
4) They share a bit of common ground on immigration reform.
Coffman’s hard line position on illegal immigrants has softened since his district was redrawn in 2012 to include sizable Latino and Ethiopian populations.
“Going out and meeting the families I really had a sympathy for the children, not the adults who knowingly broke the law,” Coffman said. “I do think we should treat [the kids] different.”
The Republican congressman supports a pathway to citizenship for kids who were brought to the U.S illegally by their parents.
As for everyone else here illegally, Coffman supports the idea of a 90 or 180-day period for people to “come out of the shadows” and receive a legalized status.
After that, he wants to “move to a much tougher system.”
Carroll supports a path to citizenship for kids brought here by their parents, and she supports a path to citizenship for the parents as well.
“The reason why people come here is not wrong,” Carroll said. “Immigrant rights are human rights, and the law is part of the problem.”
5) Coffman doesn’t think he’s to blame.
Coffman called the idea that his comments about President Barack Obama’s citizenship had anything to do with the rise of birtherism “absolutely ridiculous.”
He also doesn’t think he bears responsibility for the “boondoggle” with the veterans’ hospital in Aurora.
“I take responsibility for exercising leadership,” Coffman said.
He partially blamed Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Golden) because the hospital was in Perlmutter’s district until January 2013.
6) Carroll stands by her party’s nominee
When the candidates got to question each other, Coffman asked Carroll whether she defends Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state.
“She’s said it’s a mistake. I think it’s a mistake,” Carroll said.
When Coffman pressed her on whether Clinton’s actions in using a private email server during her time as secretary of state amounted to a crime, she said no.
“I trust independent law enforcement over political strategy against a partisan candidate,” Carroll said.
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