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Hickenlooper accepts invitation to 9NEWS Senate debate Gardner previously declined

Currently, the candidates are only poised to debate once before the general election.

DENVER, Colorado — Current U.S. Senate candidate and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) has accepted an invitation to debate incumbent Sen. Cory Gardner (R) on 9NEWS in October. Gardner has previously declined that same invitation.

At this time, the only debate invitation both Gardner and Hickenlooper accepted is on October 2 in Pueblo. 

The proposed debate would have been held with Colorado State University (CSU) and seven other statewide media outlets: The Fort Collins Coloradoan, Colorado Politics, Rocky Mountain PBS, KRDO in Colorado Springs, KJCT and KKCO in Grand Junction and KOBF in the Four Corners. The event was tentatively scheduled for Oct. 13 at CSU in Fort Collins.

>> Video above: Hickenlooper speaks after winning primary election.

The debate is one of four Hickenlooper said he has accepted. The others are:

  • October 2 in Pueblo, hosted by the Pueblo Chieftain
  • October 6 in Denver, hosted by the Denver Post, Colorado Public Radio, and Denver7
  • A date to be announced in October, hosted by Telemundo

RELATED: Colorado Senate race 2020: Two undefeated candidates

In May, Gardner released a list of five debates his campaign agreed to participate in. 

The debates Gardner accepted are:

  • September 1hosted byKOAA News5, The Gazette, and El Pomar Foundation’s Forum for Civic Advancement, 
  • September 19 hosted by Club20
  • September 29 hosted by KDVR, KXRM, and KFQX
  • October 2 hosted by The Pueblo Chieftain
  •  October 14 hosted by KCNC, The Colorado Sun, and Colorado Public Television

RELATED: Gardner declines invitation for U.S. Senate debate on 9NEWS

“Our campaign is honored to accept invitations to these four debates that will allow us to reach Coloradans in communities across the state in both English and Spanish,” said Hickenlooper for Colorado Communications Director Melissa Miller in a release Friday. “We look forward to the opportunity to show the clear contrast between John’s record of fixing tough problems by putting Colorado ahead of politics and Senator Gardner’s failure to lead and speak out against his party, even during President Trump’s disastrous handling of the Coronavirus crisis.”

Hickenlooper won Colorado's Democratic Senate primary in June, defeating former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.